Spinal discs cushion the vertebrae, but if a disk’s outer shell weakens, part of the soft, inner core can bulge out. If the herniated disk presses on any of the many nerves that run along the spine, it can cause numbness, pain, weakness, incontinence, and loss of bowel control. Symptoms include pain in the general region of the herniated disc, sometimes with numbness, tingling, or weakness in the extremities, frequent urination, sciatica, and headaches.
To avoid herniating a spinal disc, be careful with heavy lifting, stay in shape, do yoga, exercise, keep your bones mineralized, get plenty of sunshine, avoid fluoride and coffee, acid foods, and dairy, and stand up straight.
Causes of Herniated Discs
The common causes of herniated disks include:
- Heavy lifting and unusual positions
- Weak muscles and inflexibility
- Poor bone quality
This is advice for herniated discs only, not for ruptured discs. The difference between the two is that the pain of a rupture is completely debilitating. Get X rays or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan as fast as possible. If you have a rupture, seek out a good spinal surgeon and get it repaired, then follow the nutritional advice below.
Treatments for Herniated Discs
- High doses of digestive enzymes taken between meals will reduce the inflammation.
- In addition to digestive enzymes, you may want to try nettle leaf, prickly ash bark, marshmallow root, and rose hips.
- Try hyaluronic acid, collagen, MSM, and chondroitin.
- Magnets applied to the affected area help relieve pain, as do magnetic beds. Some medical facilities have had excellent results using highly focused magnetic tubes, much like an MRI tube, that focus directly on the hernia site.
- Rest at first, but exercise when you can.
- Get an inversion table and hang (start slowly) partially upside down at first. Don’t go completely upside down immediately without building up to it. Being upside down will cause dizziness as the blood rushes to your head.
- Place heat, such as sun lamps, sunshine, heating pads and warm baths, and ultrasound, on the affected spot.
- If your doctor has suggested surgery, try acupuncture before agreeing to go under the knife. Dr. Eugene Kozhevnikov of St. Petersburg, Russia, uses electroacupuncture, physical manipulation, and various energy medicine devices to help ease back pain and muscle contractions. In fact, he believes that 90% of all herniated discs should be treated by acupuncture rather than surgery.
“I’m at an age where my back goes out more than I do.” -Phyllis Diller