Symptoms of a lumbar herniated disc vary widely from moderate pain in the back and buttock to widespread numbness and weakness requiring immediate medical care. In the vast majority of cases, the pain eases within six weeks. But despite its short duration, the pain can be excruciating and make it difficult to participate in everyday activities and responsibilities. For some, the pain can become chronic and/or debilitating.
Pain Management | Stem Cell, PRP, Acupuncture in Queens & Long Island, New York
The spine and its surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments comprise a well-designed structure that’s incredibly strong, flexible and supportive. To help maintain the back and spine, proper conditioning is needed - including strengthening, flexibility and aerobic conditioning. While there are some exceptions to the rule (such as an unstable spinal fracture), the back does not need to be overprotected after recovering from a typical episode of back pain.
Spinal discs play a crucial role in the lower back, serving as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, supporting the upper body, and allowing a wide range of movement in all directions. If a disc herniates and leaks some of its inner material, though, the disc can quickly go from easing daily life to aggravating a nerve, triggering back pain and possibly pain and nerve symptoms down the leg.
Age, poor posture, and injury weaken spinal discs, causing cracks or tears to develop in the disc wall over time. Because spinal discs are filled with small nerve endings, these tears can develop into sources of chronic back pain in many patients. The adult disc has a limited blood supply, and therefore poor inherent healing potential. Conventional treatments for degenerated discs, which include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and spinal fusion surgery, are often not effective in the long-term and can come with complications.
If you only compared dry needling and acupuncture with a photo, you might be stumped to identify each. Both acupuncture and dry needling use thin, stainless steel needles. For both practices, needles are inserted into the skin and both also claim to treat pain. That’s where the similarities end. Unique qualities help differentiate the two. One practice has been used for thousands of years as an alternative treatment and has some solid research of effectiveness. The other’s been adopted in the last couple of decades.
Many treatment options for low back pain can be tailored to an individual patient’s needs. Treatments include care administered at home, medicinal remedies, alternative care, or even surgery. Depending on the patient’s diagnosis, some treatments may be more effective than others. Many people find that a combination of treatments is best.
Spinal discs degenerate for a variety of reasons. Cells within a disc can die naturally as we age, but the process is generally exacerbated by genetics, obesity, and smoking. Traditional treatment for lumbar degenerative disc disease includes over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, spinal mobilization, and surgery. However, the use of stem cells as a treatment has been rapidly gaining popularity.
Acupuncture is a complementary therapy that’s a part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It originated in China and has been around for over 2,500 years. It’s a technique used to balance the flow of energy, also known as life force, chi, or qi. Qi is thought to flow through pathways in your body. The goal of acupuncture is to remove energy blockages and balance your energy flow, which helps to regulate your emotional, mental, and physical health.
Obtaining an accurate diagnosis that identifies the underlying cause of the pain, and doesn’t just correlate to the symptoms, is important in guiding treatment. As a foundation of the diagnostic process, the patient provides a detailed description of symptoms and medical history. From this information, a doctor will usually have a general idea of the source of the patient’s pain.
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