Cant I Just Ignore It And Wait For The Disc To Heal
While you could try and tough it out, there are complications that can occur with this method. A severely herniated disc can lead to permanent nerve damage, which can cut off the feelings in the lower back. This means you could lose control of your bladder and bowel functions.
How long for a herniated disc to heal without surgery? If you do nothing, a minimum of 4-6 weeks or longer. Thats a long time to have to deal with pain and be unable to do the things you want to do.
Another possible complication is called saddle anesthesia. Imagine all the places your body would touch on a saddle if you were riding a horse. This area around the inner thighs and groin area can become numb, which can also lead to a lack of feeling in the bowels and bladder.
This is why proper treatment by a qualified chiropractor is so important!
Sleeping With Sciatica Spinal Stenosis And Herniated Discs
Contour Living on 31st Jul 2013
Lower Back Pain Almost everyone will experience lower back pain and associated pains in the buttocks, legs and sometimes burning, tingling sensations and numbness in the legs. Common causes of this lower back pain include spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and sciatica, and these conditions can all be exasperated while sleeping.
Sometimes, these conditions are caused by injury, over-exertion and other physical activities involving the spine. More often, age and normal wear contributes to lower back pain. As our bodies age, muscles, joints and bones all change, often affecting flexibility and performance. Sciatica, spinal stenosis and herniated discs fall into this category.
Many people are affected by osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. These are longer term conditions that can gradually diminish the overall performance of the body. Treatments for all conditions vary widely some may include surgery, physical therapies and rehabilitation, and a variety of non-surgical treatments.
People who suffer from and seeking treatment for sciatica, disc herniations, spinal stenosis and low back pain should use the Contour Leg Pillow to help place the lower spine in proper alignment and posture.
Typically when side sleeping your legs do not stay aligned vertically, meaning that the top leg usually drops forward slightly and down, causing your pelvis to rotate. This rotation of your pelvic causes several other problems:
Experience And Technology A Lifesaving Combination
The neurosurgery team at Johns Hopkins is experienced in many complex spinal surgeries such as Gils. Our neurosurgeons here do everything related to spine, Bydon says. We have a vast surgical experience in treating patients with conditions such as arthritic lumbar stenosis, lumbar spondylolisthesis, lumbar malalignment of bones and discs, degenerative scoliosis, compression on the spinal cord, cervical stenosis, disc herniations. We work on everything from oncology cases to degenerative diseases that we commonly see with aging, to even very rare conditions such as disc herniations on the thoracic spine.
Our team is extremely talented and experienced with over 100 years collective experience of operating on the spine, Bydon adds.
A year and a half after surgery, Gils prognosis is good. Hes made a remarkable recovery, Bydon says. He is not 100 percent, because the spinal cord had been injured years before we got there. Hes gone from a wheelchair to a cane, and his neurological problems are significantly less.
Gil, who thought he would never walk again, says he is delighted with his progress. Its much better, he says. I still feel pain, but it is definitely less pain. I still have some minor limitations, but Im able to do my usual activities.
I felt extremely well after waking up from anesthesia, Gil says. Dr. Bydon is an excellent physician. I dont think there could have been a better doctor for my case.
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What Causes A Thoracic Herniated Disc
A herniated disc occurs when the intervertebral discs annulus is damaged and the soft inner material of the nucleus pulposus ruptures out of its normal space. If the annulus tears near the spinal canal, the nucleus pulposus material can push into the spinal canal. There is very little extra space around the spinal cord in the thoracic area, so when a herniated disc occurs in the mid-back,it can be extremely serious.
Johns Hopkins Neurosurgeons Relieve Pain Paralysis For Patient With Rare Thoracic Disc Herniation
Pedro Gil was hardly able to move before he came to The Johns Hopkins Hospital for treatment in 2017. Gil, a resident of the Dominican Republic, had struggled with a thoracic disc herniation for 10 years. His herniated disc had calcified, turning to bone, and it pressed on his spinal cord to produce excruciating pain, weakness, numbness and even paralysis. Doctors told him his condition was so severe he might die. He would never walk again.
At Johns Hopkins, the message was different.
Dr. Bydon gave my case a more positive diagnosis, says Gil, recalling his first visit to Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ali Bydon. Gil had already tried years of physical therapy, massage and other treatments, plus an emergency surgery in his home country, the Dominican Republic. Gils injury was so precarious the Dominican surgeons abandoned their attempt mid-procedure, afraid of damaging his spinal cord.
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Treat Your Herniated Disc Pain With Help From Orthobethesda
If youre wondering how to sleep with a herniated disc in your neck or further down your back, OrthoBethesda can help. We treat you like family by giving you the attention and care you deserve. Reach out today to schedule an appointment with our orthopedic professionals!
- 1635 N. George Mason Drive #180 Arlington, VA
- Ph 567-4706
- 4420 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100 Arlington, VA
- Ph 419-3002
- 10215 Fernwood Road, Bethesda, MD 20817
- Ph 804-1137
Make This Sleeping Position Yours
If you feel this sleeping position is helping for sciatica pain or herbiated disc pain, but things could get better, or if your mattress is too soft but you dont want to change it, dont hesitate & try out some variations
You could try adding one more pillow for knee support or stomach support if you have to.Its not an exact science: the point is that you find the exact best position to sleep if you suffer from back pain, sciatica, herniated disc or DDD.
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Why You Need A Great Mattress If You Have Spinal Disc Herniation
We all deserve a great mattress, regardless of the medical issues we may have. However, if you suffer from any spinal problems, sleeping on the right mattress makes a big difference.
Remember, you need to keep your spine in proper alignment. If you have a poor-quality mattress or one that is too soft or firm, its going to push your back out of its natural position. If youre trying to heal yourself, or you simply want a decent night of sleep, owning a great mattress is a requirement.
A good, quality mattress will also have the ideal blend of pressure-point relief and support. What we mean by pressure relief is a mattresss ability to cradle or cushion the denser parts of your body to keep you comfortable and in a neutral spine position. If youve ever been in bed and had your arm fall asleep before you do, that could be a sure sign that your mattress is not the right one for your needs.
Support goes hand-in-hand with pressure point relief. They balance each other out. So, while pressure relief has to do with the softness of a bed, support deals more with the firmness. For example, even though you want to feel a soft surface that relieves pressure when you lie down, you dont want to sink too deeply into the surface of the bed. Thats where support comes in.
A great mattress will provide the perfect balance of both of these factors.
Tips For Relieving Pain From Herniated Discs
Do you experience achy or sharp radiating pain to your shoulder, arm, buttock or leg? This may be an indicator of a bulging or herniated disc in the neck or back. Between each of the vertebrae that make up your spine are small cushions called discs.
Herniated discs are more common in the 30-50 age bracket. A herniated disc is when the material inside the disc pushes outwards, irritating the nerve exiting at that level. This can be on either side of the spine and depending on the nerve affected in the neck or back, can cause radiating pain, numbness and loss of sensation.
Most people are able to relieve their pain from a herniated disc using medications and physical therapy, with improvements seen in about four to six weeks. However, in cases where the pain is very severe, surgery may be used as a last resort treatment.
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How To Sit And Sleep With A Herniated Disc
A herniated disc can happen anywhere along the spine, from the neck to the lower back, and is usually the result of aging or something as simple as a forceful sneeze, lifting a heavy object, or sleeping in an awkward position. If the herniated disc doesnt touch a nerve, you wont experience any symptoms. But if it does, youll likely feel pain radiating along the buttocks, legs, and feet. Tingling, numbness, and a feeling of weakness can also accompany a herniated disc.
When you sit or lie down to sleep, the pain can be intense. However, properly aligning your spine can ease the pressure on your back and significantly reduce your discomfort. Your orthopedist and physical therapist will model the best sitting and sleeping positions, but here are some general tips to make sitting and sleeping less painful.
Sitting. Sitting for long periods of time isnt ideal for people with a herniated disc. A standing desk is a great option, but if you must sit, rest your spine firmly against the chair back, sit up straight, and dont slouch . Your knees should be level with your hips, or slightly above the hips if youre seated at a desk. The chair should be at a height that allows you to keep your feet flat on the floor.
To provide extra support, wedge a rolled-up towel or small pillow between the chair and the arch of your lower back. This also works when youre in your car. If you do have to sit for a long period of time, be sure to take frequent breaks to stretch your muscles.
A Heat Ice And Related Modalities
Many people with herniated discs suffer from painful muscle spasms. These can frequently be relieved with heat packs. You can try different forms of heat therapy to see which method works best for you. Some people find that moist heat, such as a hot water bottle, works well for them while others find that the adhesive type of heat wraps, such as the kind sold in drugstores, provide them with enough heat to keep them comfortable all day.
If you have them available, saunas or Jacuzzi can also help to relieve muscle spasms. If you can find a comfortable position, a hot bath with Epsom salts is also a welcome relief.
Ice can also work well to stop the pain of a herniated disc, at least temporarily. Applying ice packs to the painful areas can reduce swelling and limits inflammation. Always wrap an ice pack and use it for 10 minutes on, then 10 minutes off for best results.
Your chiropractor might suggest other modalities to help limit your pain, such as low-level laser light therapy, ultrasound, or chiropractic massage, depending on your exact situation.
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Sleeping In A Reclining Position
Sleeping in a reclining position is preferable for sleeping with lower back pain and/or sciatica. Specifically, pain that feels worse when standing up straight, and better when bending forward, is a sign that sleeping in a supported reclining position may be beneficial. Options for support while sleeping in a reclining position include:
- Adjustable Bed. With this type of bed, the upper and lower portions of the bed can be raised and lowered in a customized fashion . There are many advantages to an adjustable bed, including the ability to easily raise and lower portions of the bed throughout the night. Adjustable beds are available at a variety of price points and designs.
Elevating the knees by placing a pillow under them, while at the same time lying flat on a bed, can also help relieve back pain caused by many conditions.
What Are Nonsurgical Treatment Options For Herniated Discs
Most people who have herniated discs respond well to conservative treatment and do not require surgery.
“Often, there won’t be one single strategy to address herniation in a non-surgical way. You’ll be encouraged to adopt some healthy lifestyle practices along with targeted treatment like physical therapy,” says Nikhil Jain, MD, clinical spine surgery fellow at University of Louisville School of Medicine. “Even if genetics is playing a role, there’s a great deal you can do to improve spinal function.”
In addition to physical therapy and pain-relieving medications as recommended by your doctor, these are a few things you can do to feel better.
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Stop Herniated Disc Pain When Sleeping And Sitting
When a herniated disc causes you pain it can be nearly impossible to find relief. Sitting down doesnt seem to help. Neither does laying down. This can make every hour of the day an exercise in pain. Luckily, there are ways you can find relief both sitting and sleeping. Read on to discover the best ways to sit sleep with a herniated disc.
Relieving the pain from a herniated disc, whether while sitting or sleeping, is all about reducing the pressure on the disc. The location of the disc in the spine will affect the ideal position for you. But, no matter where the disc is located, there are ways you can relieve that pressure and the pain it causes.
Sleeping On Your Back
When it comes to sleep, the best way to reduce pain and your risk of developing a post-procedural complication is to sleep on your back with a pillow placed under your knees. This provides the cervical and thoracic spine with much-needed support, which may ease your post-surgery pain. Its also important to keep your arms at your sides, if possible. Having your arms under or over your neck or head can put pressure on your shoulders and neck, causing damage. If an incision was made around the cervical spine , you may be required to wear your cervical collar to bed or use an orthopedic pillow to reduce excessive movement. Additionally, it may help to either sleep on a recliner or place a pillow under your low back and shoulders for added support and protection.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Herniated Disc
While some people feel little or no pain, more common symptoms of a herniated disc include:
- Pain, sometimes intense, usually in the lower back
- Pain that can radiate from the back down the legs
- Pain in the lower back when sitting or when bending forward
- Muscle spasms
- Pain that becomes worse at night
- Muscle weakness
These symptoms can vary slightly depending on which disc is herniated and what nerve it is touching.
While most herniated discs occur in the lower back, they can occur anywhere in the spine, including the neck.
What Is Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is not technically a disease. Rather, its the long-term degeneration that happens to your spine as you age. However, age is not the only thing that causes this, and just because we get older, it doesnt mean we have to experience DDD.
The most common cause of this happening is daily stress, minor injuries, obesity, and lack of movement. For those who sit all day, they are at a higher risk of having discs degenerate. Some supplements, along with a nutrient-rich diet, moderate exercise, and avoiding obesity can prevent and even reverse degenerative disc disease.
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What To Look For In A Pillow
Your pillow should cradle your head and neck and help to support the upper portion of your spine.
If you sleep on your back, your pillow should completely fill the space between your neck and the mattress. If you sleep on your side, try using a thicker pillow to keep your head in line with the rest of your body in this position.
Whatever you do, dont place your pillow under your shoulders.
For back sleepers: You may do best with thinner pillows and those that have extra padding in the bottom to support the neck.
Memory foam is a good material that molds specifically to your own neck.
A water pillow is another option that gives firm, all-over support.
For stomach sleepers: You should aim to use the thinnest pillow possible or no pillow at all. In fact, you may try sleeping on your side while holding a body pillow. The body pillow will give you the feeling of something against your stomach while helping to align the rest of your body.
For side sleepers: You may want to look for a firm pillow. Better yet, try to find one that has an extra-wide gusset that will help with the space between your ear and shoulder. And dont forget to place a firm pillow between your knees. You may even substitute a rolled towel.
While youre at it, remember to change your pillow every 18 months or so. Those pillow protectors can be a good barrier, but pillows still hold lots of allergy triggers like mold and dust mites.