This is a follow up on my post Health: Slipped Disc (Prolapsed Disc). I thought it could be useful to others if my experience with Slipped Disc (Prolapsed Disc) is recorded. But please understand that these are only a layman’s observations and should not be taken as an authoritative statement.
After seven days of medication, which relieved the pain completely, I was put on physiotherapy. I could either go to the hospital for the first fifteen sessions or have the therapist come home. On the doctor’s advice I chose the latter. The therapist’s qualifications run into twenty-two letters!
Each session had two parts. The first fifteen minutes involved site-specific use of equipment named TENS, which is an acronym for Transcuetaneous (hope I got the spelling right) Electrical Nerve Stimulator. Four electrodes are placed around the slipped disc. Once the equipment is switched on, initially you feel a series of pinpricks. The technician starts it gently and then increases the speed. I didn’t feel any discomfort except for a minute or so on the first day.
After the TENS session comes the major part of the exercises. These are meant to strengthen the muscles of the back, stomach and neck. I am told this would help to prevent new/ further episodes of slipped disc. The exercises are simple.
One set is to be done standing, mainly involving the shoulders. This I was to do on my own in the mornings after an initial demonstration by the physio. The other group is floor exercises lying on the back, under the supervision of the technician for the first fifteen days. After that I am to continue all the exercises for at least one month on my own. The recommendation is that ideally it should be made a regular habit.
The other suggestions given to me to prevent recurrence of slipped disc are:
always maintain correct posture
avoid bending from the hip; bend the knees instead
always use straight back chairs
try to rest the back as much as possible; this means lying down whenever one can
avoid soft beds and soft cushions
avoid lifting weights; if you have to, bend at the knees
avoid anything that strains the back
avoid sitting and walking for long stretches of time
to lie down, first sit on the bed, lean to the side using the elbow and the other hand for support and lower yourself on the side and lift the legs onto the bed at the same time.
lie flat on the back for at least some time.
I have found these very effective. But before getting on to such procedures, please consult a doctor. In some cases wearing a back supporting belt is prescribed.
In case you are interested to know, the physiotherapist charged me 150 Indian Rupees per home visit.