Disc herniations in the neck cause pain and decreased mobility. Thousands of Americans suffer from this malady every year, often due to poor sitting posture and body mechanics. Although surgery is one way to treat a cervical disc herniation, conservative treatment can help. Before undergoing the knife, give holistic treatments a chance to heal your disc naturally.
Visit a physical therapist. Physical therapists are trained to conservatively treat spine ailments, including disc herniations. Use of modalities such as ultrasound and heat to reduce inflammation. Also, manual traction relieves the pressure on the disc, thus allowing the disc to return to its normal position between the vertebrae. Physical therapy also includes specific exercises, posture modification, and joint mobilizations, all aimed at pain relief, restoring normal joint motion and reducing the problematic disc.
See a chiropractor. Chiropractors treat the body through joint manipulations, or physically moving the joints back into place via high-velocity adjustments. By realigning the joints in the back, chiropractic care assists in reducing the disc back to its normal position. Even when the herniation occurs in the neck, a chiropractor treats the entire body, since joint problems in other areas can indirectly affect the neck.
Try acupuncture. Developed thousands of years ago in China, acupuncture stands the test of time. Through the use of very thin needles placed in specific locations throughout your body, acupuncture is geared toward restoring problems in the body’s energy flow. Practitioners believe opening up energy pathways leads to healing. Acupuncturists reduces inflammation and gives long term pain relief to many patients. Besides needles, sometimes acupuncturists utilize electrical stimulation and cupping.
Herbal Remedies and Supplements
Take natural anti-inflammatories. Omega-3 fatty acids, common in fish oils, provide a natural and safe anti-inflammatory. So does Devil’s Claw, an herb from South Africa used for years to combat arthritis pain. White willow bark is basically aspirin in its natural form. Take it to reduce pain and inflammation. Finally, SAMe, available at your local health store, also fights inflammation and degenerative disc disease, a common precursor of herniated discs.