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Definition of herniated disk

The herniated disk is a disease resulting from the impairment of the spine. It appears when the intervertebral disk – which ensures mobility of the vertebrae and which absorbs the shocks in the spine – is distorted, is broken or is fragmented and gets to compress the nervous roots or the spinal cord in its immediate vicinity, in the spinal canal. The compression of the nervous roots provokes pain which radiates to different levels.

The herniated disk occurs following the straining of the spine, after powerful shocks or due to other triggering and aggravating factors:

  • Smoking: smoking provokes insufficient oxygenation of the spine and, implicitly, of the intervertebral disks; this is why they lose their elasticity, they become more fragile and more prone to lesions;
  • Spine shocks;
  • Intense and excessive physical exercises;
  • Obesity;
  • Sedentary life style following by intense strains;
  • Excessive vibrations that the spine is subject to.

Classification of herniated disk

There are 2 common locations of the herniated disk:

Lumbar herniated disk:

  • It usually appears at the disk between the vertebrae L4-L5 or L5-S1;
  • Pain occurs in the lower back area but pain can radiate along the impaired nerves;
  • Most frequently, sciatic and femoral nerves are involved with painful manifestations along these nerves;
  • It is more frequent than the cervical type.

Cervical herniated disk:

  • It usually appears at the disk between the vertebrae C5-C6 or C6-C7;
  • Pain manifests itself in the neck, head and chest area radiating along the nervous path;

Treatment of herniated disk

If diagnosed early and treated appropriately, only 5% of the herniated disk cases need surgery. Treatment which leads to the healing of the herniated disk includes more aspects:

  1. Removal of the cause which provoked the herniated disk – reducing the intensity of the physical effort, giving up smoking, weight loss, avoiding sudden shocks for the spine;
  2. Physiotherapic massage and eventually osteoarticular elongations:
    • Relaxation of muscles at the level of the spine together with the massage of the affected area with the Relaxing Gel with hellebore lead to the healing of the inflammation and the tension in the vertebrae and allow the intervertebral disk to be restored;
    • For a maximum effect, massage should be performed within a specialised practice, the massage technique being a special one;
    • The osteoarticular elongations are recommended to be practiced only by persons which have a very good command of this technique because there are certain risks;
  3. Avoiding pro-inflammatory factors – alcohol, smoking, excessive consumption of meat, fried foods, steaks, sodas etc.

Recovery following the herniated disk surgery

If the patient has unbearable pain or is immobilised, it is likely that the physician will recommend surgery. After this has been done successfully, the recovery following the herniated disk surgery is very important.

Because a surgical procedure is performed on the spine, a local inflammatory process exists post-surgery and there is also a pain that persists for a longer or shorter period of time.

Post-surgery it is forbidden to lift weights heavier than 2 kilos, sudden movements and physical effort are forbidden.

It is recommended to topically apply inflammatory creams or gels through a mild massage 3-4 times/day. The hellebore extract of the products: the Dr. Boici or the Relaxing Gel has a very beneficial effect after the herniated disk surgeries or after procedures performed upon other areas of the skeleton.

Afterwards, moderate physical effort may be resumed, but the recommendations of preventing the reoccurrence of the herniated disk should be observed; they are the same in the case of the treatment