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What is a herniated disc?
A herniated or “slipped disc” happens when a tear in the intervertebral disc allows the softer central part to bulge out past the damaged outer rings of the spine. Often times the herniation is a result of advanced age. The degeneration with age is a major factor in creating herniations. However, often the disc is damaged during lifting or being burdened with far too much strain. Nerve compression causes the severe pain that often requires treatment.
Options for treating a herniated disc.
Most patients with a herniated disc are offered treatment that will not involve any invasive surgery. The major treatments suggested are relaxation, painkillers, physical therapy, and exercise. While painkillers may dull the pain, they can be dangerous with numerous side-effects and possibly even addiction. The easiest way to relieve the pain from a herniated disc is with warm relaxing heat.
Why are painkillers the wrong answer?
Painkillers have numerous drawbacks when it comes to treating pain as a symptom. First and foremost, painkillers are addictive to many patients and frequent use can lead to abuse of the product. Risking an addiction is not worth the result, especially when other ways exist to ease the pain. The next reason are the massive side-effects that often accompany the painkiller. Many drugs prevent the blood from clotting to an extent. This can cause mild to moderate bleeding, internally and externally. The drugs can cause ulcers in the stomach, impair kidney function, and damage the bowels.
Sciatic Nerve pain caused by a herniated disc can be eased with a sauna.
A major symptom from a herniated disc is sciatic nerve pain. The pain can oftentimes be overwhelming and consume the patient with the severity of it. The pain radiates from the lower back to the foot in many cases. Infrared saunas produce a relaxing heat that relieves the tension that is brought along with sciatic pain. Without treatment it would take several weeks to recover from the pain. Easing suffering with heat is a smart way to treat symptoms caused by the disc.
Using muscles that otherwise could not be moved.
While suffering from severe pain in the lower lumbar region of the back, patients will often not be able to workout or even participate in physical therapy without some assistance. The back muscles become tight and sore from the pain, which creates this result. Infrared saunas are one of the most successful ways to relax tight muscles and relieve the pain within them. With this treatment to the symptom, a patient can participate in exercise and physical therapy. The joints that become locked from a lack of use while the patient is immobile can be reversed with the sauna as well. The relaxing heat not only focuses on muscles but on the joints. The joints become loose as the inflammation is reduced. This will increase range of motion.
Exercise in a sauna.
A workout in a sauna can be recommended in short five minute treatments. The increased flexibility from the joints and muscles allow a greater range of motion. This will provide greater ease to the pinched nerves often experienced with a slipped disc. The spine pain having been reduced will bend easier because of the heat as well. Stretching is key to making sure the nerves do not remain pinched.
Reducing Stress from a slipped disc.
A slipped disc can do more damage besides pain and inflammation alone. The stress levels in patients suffering from pain are twice as high as those who do not manage their pain properly. A sauna is perfect for reducing stress and pumping blood. The calming heat will relax the patient suffering from pain.
Infrared saunas increase blood flow.
Saunas help treat the disc by increasing the blood flow to the affected area. The increased temperatures cause the body to naturally increase the rate of blood flow. This speeds up the amount of oxygen to the back muscles and joints. The damage becomes inundated with an increase in white blood cells which are key in the healing process.
What are the risks with a sauna?
The risk with a sauna for treatment are incredibly low. Always use the sauna in the appropriate amount of time. Short time periods should be adhered to, to avoid any complications. Try not to spend more than 20 to 30 minutes at a time inside. Patients treating a slipped disc with a sauna should drink plenty of water so as to avoid any risk of dehydration. Patients recently recovering from a heart attack should not use a sauna as treatment. Always consult a doctor before using as a treatment.