Lumbar herniated discs are a common cause of significant back pain in all age groups, especially adults.
While the cause of lumbar herniated disc is not always clear, trauma, weakness and genetic factors play a role. Significant physical impairment, long-term pain and neurological deficits can occur from improper treatment.
Herniated Disc Symptoms
In younger individuals where disc degeneration has not occurred yet, herniated material consists of the main portion of the nucleus extruded into the spinal canal. This creates significant tissue swelling and secondary irritability of nerve root resulting in pain.
However, in other individuals where disc degeneration has already occurred, the herniated material also contains portions of the cartilage and fibrous/collagen tissue from the annulus. This creates a different and more difficult-to-treat environment of inflammation.
Because the intravertebral disc/nucleus does not have blood supply in adults, our body senses that the herniated material does not belong in there and naturally tries to remove it. This process is called resorption.
Inflammatory cells called macrophages migrate into the area of the herniated disc. Certain chemical mediators (cytokines) are released creating pain.
Herniated Disc Treatment
In many cases, at this point steroid injections are utilized to reduce the pain. This has a double-prong action. While the pain can improve by introducing steroids, it comes with a huge price. It delays the healing process by suppressing the natural required inflammatory process.
Steroids are also toxic chemicals and increase the risk of infection and many systemic side effects. Epidural steroid injections require a special visit to a surgical center and there is exposure to radiation during the procedure.
Therefore, a more rational, safe and effective treatment method is needed to manage the symptoms while at the same time letting the body do its job of healing.
One of our protocols for alternative treatment is the use of unique supplement ProMediators. This can be combined with appropriate medicine to control nerve pain.
Once the acute process settles down, we prescribe appropriate exercises that are effective. Following which non-surgical lumbar decompression can be carried out along with a more aggressive rehabilitation to result in ultimate improvement. But most importantly prevent recurrences.
Ultimately some patients will end up requiring surgery especially if the neurological compression is significant. In these cases, surgery should be considered sooner than later to avoid permanent injury to the nerves.