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Treating Herniated Disk

How Physical Therapists Assist in Treating Herniated Disk?

Recovery from a herniated disc usually includes extensive physical therapy. In addition to providing acute pain relief, its techniques also show you how to prepare your body to prevent additional damage.

There are numerous physical therapy methods. Deep tissue massage, heat and cold therapy, electrical stimulation (such as TENS), and hydrotherapy are examples of active treatments that help your body relax.

Typically, passive therapies provided by Lawton physical therapy experts will be used to start your physical therapy program. However, after your body has had time to recover. You will start active therapies that will strengthen your system and stop more discomfort. Together, you and the expert physical therapist at Lawton physical therapy experts will create a strategy that works best for you!

What exactly is the Herniated Disk Issue?

A herniated disc, also known as a bulged, slipping, or ruptured disc, happens when a portion of the disc nucleus pushes through a tear or rupture in the nucleus and into the spinal canal. Herniated discs are typically in the early stages of degenerative.
Herniated Disk Issue

A spinal disc has a harder, rubbery surface over a soft, jelly-like inner (nucleus) (annulus). A disk herniation, also known as a slipped disc or a ruptured disc, happens when a portion of the nucleus slips through such a tear in the annulus. Although a herniated disc can develop anywhere along the spine, it most frequently does so in the lower back. Therefore, a herniated disc may cause discomfort, numbness, or weakening in an arm or leg, dependent on where it is located.

Many people with herniated discs don’t have any symptoms. For those who do experience symptoms, they typically get better with time. Usually, the issue can be resolved without surgery.

Explore the Symptoms and Signs of Herniated Disk:

Your herniated disk’s position and direction, as well as the quantity of pressure placed on adjacent nerves, will all affect the kind and location of your problems. There may be no pain at all from a herniated disc. Or, it may result in any of the symptoms listed below:

  • Pain in arms, legs, low back, or neck.
  • Difficulty in rotating or extending the neck.
  • Neck, shoulders, arms, hands, hips, legs, or feet burning or numbness.
  • Arms or legs are weak.
  • Walking with a limp
  • Increased discomfort when sitting, retching, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Unable to stand up straight; “fixed” in a posture, such as stooping over or leaning to one side.
  • Having difficulties getting out of a chair.
  • The inability to endure pain in a fixed space, including sitting or standing.
  • Morning pain that gets worse.

The gelatin-like core of the disc (NP) that might become drying and less flexible in people over 50 is less inclined to leak or herniate. However, this degradation might result in additional painful illnesses such as progressive disc disease and joint degeneration. However, your physiotherapist will consult with other medical specialists to establish the proper diagnosis for you.

Causes of Acute Herniated Disk:

Most commonly, progressive aging-related wear and tear are known as disk degeneration leading to disk herniation. The disk grows less elastic and is much more prone to fracturing or rupturing, just a small strain or twisting as people age.

Most people have issues identifying the reason for their damaged disks. Twisting and turning when lifting can often result in a herniated disc, as this can use the lower back to raise heavy objects rather than the leg and thighs. Therefore, rarely is the reason a traumatic experience like a fall or a blow towards the back.

How does it Feel to Have Herniated Disk?

The neck, back, arms, or legs may experience discomfort, tightness, numbness, paralysis, or tingling as a result of herniated disks. A nearby nerve may be pushed on by a bulging or leaking disc, which could cause pain or muscle weakness.

There could not be any discomfort or disability if the expanding or leaking disc does not press against a nerve. However, a herniated disc can result in back or neck pain. Other reasons may also be at play. Other such conditions can be examined for and ruled out by your physical therapist.

Can Physical Therapist Help in Treating Herniated Disk?
Physical Therapist Help in Treating Herniated Disk
To start the healing process, your physical therapist will work with you to:

1. Reduce pain and other symptoms:

In order to start the healing process, your physical therapist will assist you in realizing how to avoid or alter the actions that resulted in the injury. To manage and treat your symptoms and pain, your physical therapist may utilize a variety of techniques and tools.

2. Improve posture:

Suppose your physical therapist finds that poor posture has contributed to your herniated disk. However, the therapist will teach you how to improve your posture so that pressure is reduced in the injured area, and healing can begin and progress as rapidly as possible.

3. Improve motion:

Your physical therapist will select specific exercises and therapies to aid in regaining normal joint mobility. These could start with “passive” movements the physical therapist does for you to move your spine and advance to “active” exercises and stretching that you complete on your own. Therefore, to improve healing and pain treatment, you can carry out these motions at home and work.

4. Improve flexibility:

Your physical therapist will detect any tight muscles, start stretching them with you, and then teach you how to and when to extend in your own way at home.

5. Improve strength:

If your physical therapist finds any weak or damaged muscles, experts will choose the finest exercises to gradually regain your muscle strength and flexibility. You will learn these workouts from them as well. “Core strengthening” is typically used to regain the strength and coordination of the muscles. However, they support your back, hips, belly, and pelvic region in order to treat strained disks in the neck and back.

6.     Improve endurance:

It’s critical to recover muscular endurance following an injury. Your physical therapist will create an exercise program for you to follow in order to recover and regain the strength you had before your injury.

7. Learn a home program:

Your physical therapist will demonstrate to you at-home exercising, stretching, and pain-relieving exercises. If you perform the exercises as directed by your physical therapist, they will be specific to your requirements and will improve your recovery.

8. Return to activities:

Your physical therapist at Lawton physical therapy experts will consult with you about your activity levels and utilize them to establish a treatment plan for your work, sport, and home responsibilities. Your treatment plan will assist you in achieving your objectives in the safest, quickest.

Your physical therapist may advise you on good “body mechanics”—the right ways to carry out tasks and move heavy objects—to prevent additional injury to your spine after a spine injury like a back injury.

After your discomfort has subsided, it will be crucial for you to maintain your new exercise and posture routines to maintain you’re back strong and pain-free.

Physical Therapy Options to Treat Herniated Disk:

With you, your physical therapist will create a treatment plan to speed your recovery. This plan will include exercises and therapies you may perform at home. You can get back to your regular routine and activities with the aid of physical therapy.

The length of time it takes for the problem to recover varies. However, when a correct posture, pain-reduction, stretching, and exercising programmer is followed, results can be seen in 2 to 8 weeks or less.

Passive Physical Therapy Treatment for Herniated Disks:

Deep Tissue Massage:

There are more than 100 different forms of massage, but if you have a herniated disc. The deep tissue massage is the best choice since it applies a lot of pressure to release deep muscular tension and contractions. However, the form restricts muscle action in the damaged area.

Hot and Cold Therapy:

To achieve the best results, your physical therapist may alternate between hot and cold treatments, each of which has its own set of advantages.

Your physical therapist may apply heat to improve blood flow to the affected area. Blood brings more oxygen and nutrients to the area, assisting in recovery. Therefore, blood also washes out waste materials produced by muscle spasms.

Conversely, cold therapy:

This decreases pain, inflammation, and muscular spasms. Your physical therapist might apply an ice pack to the affected area; perform an ice treatment on you. However, apply a fluoromethane spray to reduce swelling tissues.


Hydrotherapy uses water, as the title indicates. Hydrotherapy can be given passively by simply relaxing in a hot shower or whirlpool bath. Hydrotherapy helps muscles to relax and gently alleviate pain.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation:

Your muscles are stimulated by an electrical current when using a TENS machine. Although it seems painful, it isn’t really that severe. Key places all along the nerve system receive a small electrical current from electrodes taped to your skin. Therefore, TENS lowers muscle spasms and is usually thought to cause the body’s normal painkillers, endorphins, to be released.


Traction works to reduce the spine’s negative effects from gravity. The intention is to decrease disc herniation by carefully pushing apart the bones. The comparison is similar to how a flat tire would “disappear” whenever you put a jack under. Therefore, the vehicle releases the pressure on it. Either the cervical or lumbar spines can be used to execute it.

Active Physical Therapy Treatment for Herniated Disks:

Active treatments help with joint movement, mobility, posture, power, and core strength. To get the best effects, a workout program might also be advised. This will improve your general health in addition to reducing chronic pain. Together, you and your physical therapist will create a programmer based on your unique diagnosis and medical history.

Core stability:

Many people are not aware of how essential a strong core is to maintaining spinal health. Your back muscles support your spines with the assistance of your core (abdominal) muscles. Your spinal muscles are put under extra strain when your core muscles are weak. Therefore, you could learn core stabilizing exercises from your medical professional to improve your back.


You’ll be better prepared for aerobic and strength activities by learning effective stretching and mobility techniques. However, by preventing stiffness, the ability makes it easier for your body to move.


In contrast to passive hydrotherapy, this involves nothing more than relaxing in a warm bath or bath. They are effective hydrotherapy and may include water aerobics to help condition your muscles without extra stress.

Muscle strengthening:

Your spine is well supported by strong muscles, which also help you manage pain. To assist you in preventing future discomfort, your physical therapist will teach you how to condition and improve your back.

You could learn self-care principles to properly appreciate how to treat your difficulties. However, the ultimate objective is for you to acquire the knowledge necessary to live pain-free.

Final Verdict:

After formal physical therapy is over, it’s crucial that people learn how to exercise and maintain their backs. You won’t benefit from physical therapy’s long-term effects if you do not even put the lessons you acquired during treatment into practice. Therefore, you can reduce the pain from your herniated disc by having to take care of your back on your own or get assistance from Lawton physical therapy experts!


Can a herniated disc be fixed with physical therapy?
Most herniated disks can be treated with physical therapy and do not need to be surgically repaired. In order to help persons with back injuries restore normal movement, lessen pain, and resume their regular activities, physical therapists create personalized therapy plans.

What sort of physical treatment is beneficial for a herniated disc?
PT may involve exercises, hydrotherapy, hot/cold treatments, and deep tissue massages. Recovery from a herniated disc frequently involves extensive physical therapy. In addition to providing immediate pain relief, its techniques also show you how to prepare your body to prevent further damage.

What exercises are allowed if you have a herniated disc?
Squats, cycling, extended hamstring stretches, deadlifts, high-impact exercises, leg presses, and straight leg raises are a few examples of exercises.

Is a herniated disc amenable to stretching?
Stretching exercises are one of the greatest therapies for herniated disc symptoms. However, back muscles can become more flexible and assist in stabilizing the disc herniation location by being gently stretched.

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