Recovering from a herniated disc requires a combined effort of the mind and body. Recovery should be every patient’s number one priority, since statistics show that individuals who do not recover within the first year are more likely to experience pain for the remainder of their lives than they are to ever fully recuperate.
This article provides some valuable advice on how to best recover from both the physical and emotional consequences of disc injury. Learn how the mind and body contribute to the process of returning to a full and active lifestyle after the positive identification of a herniation.
There are 2 basic types of herniated discs; Those caused by spinal degeneration and those enacted by spinal injury.
Degeneration-induced bulging discs are not usually symptomatic and many patients do not even know they exist. For these types of herniations, recovery is typically not an issue, since there is no pain or very minimal and short-lived pain. Severe chronic disc pain is not likely to come about from a herniation due to normal and expected spinal aging.
Herniated discs due to traumatic injury might be very painful when they first occur. However, even these conditions will typically resolve within 2 to 8 weeks and should not create lasting disc pain syndromes. In rare instances, proven nerve compression might require treatment using spinal decompression or even disc surgery.
The nocebo effect imparted by the diagnosis of a herniated disc is one of the most powerful in orthopedic medicine. Everyone has heard the horror stories about chronic disc pain and hearing the words "herniated disc" associated with your spine will give anyone the chills, to be sure.
This is why it is so important to learn the facts about herniated discs and use some form of knowledge therapy to prevent the psychological implications of a disc condition from worsening or perpetuating your pain.
Remember, one of the most common sources of long-term back or neck pain is the psychosomatic process. This is true whether the condition is psychogenic to begin with or just continued by the mind after an actual physical injury has occurred and subsequently, fully healed.
I remember very clearly that I was never adequately educated about herniated discs during the 18 years I sought active treatment for terrible lower back pain. None of my care providers gave me any real clue about my prognosis, nor even what any particular treatment option was designed to do. I tried so many different therapy options, but none provided any considerable or lasting relief. All along, I was hoping that each and every treatment might be the real cure I was longing for.
Looking back, I now realize that none of these treatments would have cured my pain, even if the symptoms had indeed come from the 2 herniations at L4/L5 and L5/S1. All my therapies were merely symptomatic in nature, but I had no idea, since no doctor or chiropractor ever thought to mention this fact. I am not surprised, since keeping me in treatment was the main goal and the best way for these healthcare professionals to meet their financial aspirations.
Take time to become involved in your treatment. Learn all about your disc conditions and discover what it will take to end your pain forever. This is my advice, if you truly want to achieve a lasting recovery from your herniated disc pain.