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Doctor insights on: Is It Better To Ice Or Put Heat On A Herniated Disc

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Dr. Thomas Dowling
836 doctors shared insights

Bulging Disk (Definition)

Wear and tear can cause degeneration in the vertebral column, and cause discs to deteriorate. The supportive basket, nucleus fibrosis develops small tears. A bulge is minimal perhaps a few millimeters, and is clinically insignificant, but additional disc displacement such as protrusion or herniation may compress ...Read more


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Herniated disc, what is better, heat or ice?

Herniated disc, what is better, heat or ice?

Herniated Disc: It really depends on the acuteness of the disc herniation. Early in the course of the disease ice might be considered good, however, for chronic disc herniation, heat would be of most benefit. ...Read more

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I have a herniated disc in T 6 and bulging disc in 5&7 in neck for yrs. pinched nerve in shoulder blade causing pain in arm and numbing in hand I have tried over the counter meds heat and ice. Nothing helps. ?

I have a herniated disc in T 6 and bulging disc in 5&7 in neck  for yrs. pinched nerve in shoulder blade causing pain in arm and numbing in hand  I have tried over the counter meds heat and ice. Nothing helps. ?

Further treatment: There are more aggressive treatment options for the spine that are more powerful than using over the counter medications, but they get progressively more involved. From non invasive alternatives such as physical therapy or chiropractic care, to interventional pain procedures which are invasive but non surgical, to even surgical considerations. I would not hesitate to be seen to discuss options. ...Read more

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I have a herniated disc. Can heat help relieve the pain?

Yes: The pain from a herniated disc is due both to pinched nerves and to reactive muscle spasms. The heat will help relieve the muscle spasm related pain. Typically nerve pain will be more responsive to application of cold packs. Generally speaking, pain is a very subjective experience. Whether heat or cold works better for you depends on your individual sensation. ...Read more

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Can ice make herniated disc pain worse?

No: Pain from a herniated disc is due to nerve root irritation. Ice is considered a pain reliever. Some nerve irritation can cause an abnormal hypersensitivity such that the cold is perceived as painful. It might be difficult for the person with herniated disc pain to differentiate that pain from the hypersensitivity associated with the cold because temperature and pain are transmitted on same nerves. ...Read more

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I have herniated disc at L4 and 5 impinging on S1. I was put on Neurontin (gabapentin) which worked great for 2 weeks. Any suggestions?

I have herniated disc at L4 and 5 impinging on S1. I was put on Neurontin (gabapentin)  which worked great for 2 weeks. Any suggestions?

Nerve root pain: Perhaps all you need is a slightly higher dose of neurontin (gabapentin). Other treatments that may be helpful are physical therapy, traction treatment, rest, ibuprofen, and sometimes other medicines like amitriptyline. ...Read more

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I had neck surgery for herniated disc they put a 2 inch titanium plate to replace disc does the screws come loose and cause pain?

It shouldn't...: But it could theoretically. An x-ray could help to tell. See your doctor, there are lots of simpler reasons for pain. ...Read more

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Herniated disc l4 and l5. Can sitting in slouching position put more pressure on these areas of back and aggravate the disc pain more?

Herniated disc l4 and l5. Can sitting in slouching position put more pressure on these areas of back and aggravate the disc pain more?

It takes more than tit takes more than tha: it takes more than that. Each person is different and there can be different mechanisms of your problems. Part of this depends on who you are, which are the anatomic structure involved and how they can be impacted. You need to discuss this with your physician, and get the right evaluation. ...Read more

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I recently been diag. With 2 herniated disc and put on heavy pain meds but now I have horribly swollen feet ! is this from the disc or pain meds?

Difficult to say…: …without knowing the names of the pain meds or the location of the herniated discs. Please resubmit question with this information so we can give an informed response. ...Read more

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Causes of herniated disk after anethesia from nerve block .Can this cause adisk C6 to herneate i had a artifical disk put in.I had blocks done forrsd?

Degeneration: It is unlikely that a nerve block could cause herniation of vertebral disks. It is more likely that as we get older existing degereration in the spine could cause this. It is possible a cervical epidural could exacerbate an already present herniated disk. ...Read more

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Could i put a herniated disk back into place with yoga exercises?

Could i put a herniated disk back into place with yoga exercises?

No: No but yoga can be a good low impact exercise routine. Nothing can "put a herniated disc back in place". Sometimes, over time, the disc fragment can shrink or be resorbed by the body. ...Read more

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Is it possible to put a herniated disk back into place with yoga exercises?

Is it possible to put a herniated disk back into place with yoga exercises?

No: In most instances, herniated disc are resorbed by the body. They do not go back into place. Often what are described as disc bulging on lumbar mri's are actually bony spurs or discosteophyte complexes. They do not resorb. Kind of counter intuitive, the larger the disc herniation the faster the disc resorbs. This is thought to be because the large disc herniation stirs up a larger immune response. ...Read more

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How long will?Herniated disc pain last?

How long will?Herniated disc pain last?

No more than 6 month: Most herniated disk symptoms resolve with therapy, medication and time. When pain is associated with numbness, tingling and/or weakness it is essential to treat the condition before nerve damage is permanent. After oral steroids and therapy, epidural steroid injections are used to calm down the nerve irritation. If all of this fails, surgery can be used to relieve symptoms. ...Read more

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Can you tell me what do you do for a herniated disc in your back?

Can you tell me what do you do for a herniated disc in your back?

Careful exercise: Start by avoiding prolonged positioning ; repetitive twist/bend maneuvers. If had physical therapy, resume exercises. Use of otc medication will help control symptoms. Cardio workouts may help except for rowing ; maybe running. If did not have pt, may want to get a session to learn exercises. Weight control ; not smoking are key. Time is biggest healer-90% better without surgery. ...Read more

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What should I do when medication isn't enough for a herniated disc?

What should I do when medication isn't enough for a herniated disc?

Several things : Time is biggest healer as 90% resolve with no surgery. Lifestyle changes like weight control, not smoking & regular exercise are important- core strengthening, cardiovascular & flexibility. This can be learned through physical therapy. Some people like to use inversion tables for traction or try acupuncture or even chiropractic . Epidural steroid injections an option & if warranted, surgery. ...Read more

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What should I do when medication isn't enough for a herniated disc?

PT/Injections/Surger: Epidural injections, physical therapy could be helpful, when these fail with persisting symptoms more than 6-12 weeks, or progressive neurologic deficit, or bowel/bladder dysfunction then surgery is indicated. ...Read more