A cricked neck or a bad back can cause pain so disproportional to the severity of the problem that all we can do is stay in bed and whine, taking aspirin and waiting for the peak of the pain to subside. While this may be recommendable in the immediate aftermath of an injury such as a herniated disc, extended bed rest is actually working against your recovery efforts. The reason for this is that not moving at all weakens the body even more; muscles tighten to perilous extremes and weaken from lack of use, soft tissues become more vulnerable to injury and, in the case of a herniated disc, intervertebral discs will stiffen and dry out when not articulated regularly.
Most injuries, including herniated discs, will heal themselves given time and the appropriate attention to rehabilitation, but it is worth considering that the time you are out of commission can be shortened with regular stretching and strengthening. At our office in Sacramento, we use chiropractic adjustment, spinal decompression and trigger point therapy to alleviate your pain to a point where you feel comfortable taking on light activity. Once you have established a baseline of manageable pain, we start incorporating light aerobic activity, gentle stretching and corrective exercise which heals the injurious region and strengthens it against the recurrence of future injury.
Of course, any rehabilitation plan is subject to your injury and ability level; nothing should be undertaken that will exacerbate the pain or make your condition worse; it helps to talk to someone who specializes in rehabbing these kind of injuries. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today and find out how good movement can defeat pain!
Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.