Conservative and surgical methods of hernia treatment
Many people suffering from various problems with the spine ask the natural question of whether it is possible to cure a hernia? After all, this slowly developing disease is serious enough to eventually, if left untreated, lead to the immobilization of a person, his disability.
How to treat a hernia today, what methods are most relevant and effective at the same time?
What is this disease
Most people imagine the structure of the spine rather vaguely. Everyone knows that the spinal column consists of vertebrae, which form a special spinal canal in which nerves run. But few at the same time understand that for the normal operation of the spine between its elements, a kind of shock absorbers are needed, which will reduce the load. Thanks to them, it is possible to achieve a decrease in the wear of the vertebrae.
These elements are intervertebral discs. They are arranged extremely simply: the fibrous ring, which has a more rigid structure, limits the softer nucleus pulposus.
What, in the end, is a hernia, and why do you need to know the structure of the spine in order to understand the principles of its formation?
Hernial protrusion is the exit of the nucleus pulposus beyond the border of the fibrous ring limiting it. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including lifestyle, genetic predisposition, and many more factors.
The hernia can be squeezed out in any direction, ending up both in the anterior part of the spine and closer to the spinal canal. It is the close location of the defect to the spinal canal that in most cases leads to the appearance of all pathological symptoms.
What are the symptoms of a hernia
Before wondering how to cure a hernia, it is necessary to correctly diagnose. And for this, the patient must imagine with what symptoms he should seek help from a doctor.
First of all, it must be remembered that the symptomatology of the disease is very closely related to the localization of the defect. This means that the complaints of a patient with a lesion of the cervical spine will differ significantly from those of a patient with a lesion of the lower back.
If the disease has affected the neck area, then the patient is likely to complain of dizziness, headaches, numbness of the upper limb on the side in which the defect has formed. If the lower back is affected, complaints may affect the functioning of the internal organs located in the small pelvis or the functionality of the lower extremities. Naturally, the thoracic spine, sacral can also suffer from the disease.
You can suspect an already formed hernia, focusing on the following symptoms:
- the patient takes the so-called forced posture, which is usually not characteristic of a healthy person, but alleviates suffering with a pronounced defect;
- one can note a significant stiffness of movements, which is easy to explain, since the spinal nerves are pinched, because of which a person feels pain, which acts as a limitation of mobility;
- a person with an already formed pathology will complain of muscle spasm on one side or, if the defect is severe, on both sides.
Many doctors believe that a hernia in the lumbosacral region is the most dangerous.
This is explained quite simply: if symptoms are ignored for a long time, the patient will sooner or later face the fact that his own lower limbs fail him. The result is predictable: loss of mobility and disability.
Today, a variety of techniques are used to treat hernia. Doctors are sure that it is possible to achieve noticeable effects in therapy only if you choose the right complex therapy.
The complexity of treatment is the basic principle that all doctors who have to deal with a defect in the intervertebral discs must adhere to.
First of all, the principles of hernia treatment are based on the use of conservative therapy. No matter how much the disease is neglected, doctors will try to provide assistance without sending a person under the surgeon's knife. This approach is explained by the fact that any surgical intervention is always associated with a risk of complications, and the task of the doctor is to choose a method of treatment that combines minimal side effects and maximum efficiency.
Today, a wide variety of hernia treatment methods can be used. Some of the doctors recommend that patients use medications in combination with dosed physical activity, someone advises massage and folk methods. However, as practice shows, significant effects can only be achieved if all known methods are correctly combined.
Naturally, it is worth saying a firm “no” to self-treatment. Only a doctor will be able to choose the optimal set of methods, based on the individual characteristics of the patient.
Choice of medicines
How can you get rid of a hernia of the spine, using only various medications? Most patients believe that there is one universal pill that will immediately solve all their problems, but this opinion is far from the truth.
A person will have to take medicines related to at least three areas:
A hernia is cured by selecting drugs that can act directly on the cause of the disease. Finding the right funds is not easy. Most often, NSAIDs and chondroprotectors are referred to etiotropic therapy.
NSAIDs are an extensive group of drugs that allow you to get rid of the active inflammatory process, eliminate local tissue swelling. Chondroprotectors perform a different role, providing protection to cartilage tissues, improving their supply of vitamins and essential minerals.
Homeopathy is sometimes referred to as etiotropic therapy, but this is fundamentally wrong. Homeopathy has no evidence base regarding its effectiveness, and therefore it is more correct to attribute it to additional methods of therapy.
Symptomatic treatment is aimed at eliminating the main symptoms of the disease and improving the general condition of the patient. Moreover, in most cases, drugs from this group do not fight directly with the cause of the disease, but effectively help to eliminate the main symptoms.
Most often, symptomatic drugs include muscle relaxants and painkillers. The task of muscle relaxants is to eliminate muscle spasm, due to which the patient may complain of pain. The elimination of spasm also partially relieves the load on the spinal column, alleviating the patient's condition. Painkillers relieve pain by blocking the transmission of impulses from nerve fibers to the brain.
Pathogenetic therapy brings the patient a cure if any complications develop against the background of an initially uncomplicated hernia. Its action is aimed at interrupting pathogenetic mechanisms. For this, glucocorticosteroids, methylxanthine derivatives and hydrolytic enzymes are used.
Glucocorticosteroids are able to stop the inflammatory process. They differ from NSAIDs in a faster effect and an increased duration of action. Methylxanthine derivatives improve local blood circulation, stimulate regenerative processes. Enzymes help prevent local stagnation of blood, do not allow the formation of blood clots.
For the treatment of uncomplicated hernias, the patient can be prescribed various drugs from all groups. At the same time, it is possible to change tactics and medicines if it is not possible to obtain a visible effect within a certain period of time.
Complementary therapy is often a prerequisite for recovery. Most people believe that therapeutic exercises are the only method of additional treatment, but this opinion is fundamentally wrong.
Gymnastics is prescribed to patients after the main pain syndrome has been stopped. This method is especially important if it is necessary to treat a hernia during pregnancy, when the intake of many medications is limited. Contrary to popular belief, the first classes should be supervised by an exercise therapy doctor . This is necessary in order to correctly select the optimal set of exercises and prevent overloading the spinal column that has recently recovered from the disease.
Today, hernial protrusions are still successfully treated with such an old method as hirudotherapy. This approach refers to the use of leeches. The fact is that the saliva of these creatures contains a special enzyme that increases blood fluid and prevents the formation of blood clots.
It is quite natural that due to blood thinning, its fluidity improves, it moves faster through the vessels, which significantly improves the regenerative processes in the body.
Leeches are applied to the hernia localization area, where they are able to effectively improve blood flow and stimulate healing processes. Naturally, the technique is effective only in the initial stages of the disease, but with advanced pathology, nothing prevents it from being used as an additional tool to speed up the healing process. In some cases, hirudotherapy is recommended even after surgery.
Massage is an indispensable method of treating a hernia of the spinal column, without which a full-fledged treatment is simply unthinkable. There is nothing surprising in the fact that patients are prescribed mandatory massage sessions as soon as they manage to stop acute processes.
Thanks to the massage effect, it is possible to achieve relaxation of muscle structures affected by spasm, improve blood flow and stimulate regeneration processes. True, as many doctors note, the choice of a massage therapist must be treated as carefully as possible.
It is important to remember that if the specialist is chosen incorrectly or they tried to save money on him, the treatment may well do much more harm than good in the end. Also, we must not forget that a hernia can be cured only with the help of the complex effect of several different techniques. If you rely only on massage, it is unlikely to achieve a significant effect, and precious time will have already been lost.
Massage is a good way not only to treat a hernia, but also for prevention. This method for faster recovery is also used after surgical treatment of hernias has been performed.
Reflexology is a broad concept that includes many different techniques. The most important task of such treatment is to stimulate local blood circulation and metabolic processes, which will improve regeneration and contribute to the resorption of the hernial protrusion.
- some types of massage;
- manual therapy.
Reflexology should be carried out only by an experienced specialist. The fact is that if you entrust yourself into the hands of a non-professional, he, out of ignorance or inexperience, can do more harm than good to an already sick body.
Like massage, reflexology is not a complete treatment that can act as a panacea. This method is only suitable as an additional technique if it is necessary to support a weakened spine and influence the overall recovery processes in the body.
Many people change the surgical treatment of hernias for attempts to be cured with the help of alternative therapy methods. To do this, someone uses a variety of infusions and decoctions inside, and someone makes lotions and compresses on the defect formation zone.
To get rid of a hernia, you can use the following folk recipes:
- infusion of thyme, which is taken orally in the amount of 1/3 cup three times a day (each time it is recommended to brew a fresh portion and insist it for at least 10 minutes);
- you can pour hop cones in the amount of one spoonful of boiling water and insist for several hours, and then take one tablespoon of the infusion three times a day;
- for an hour, you can apply a compress consisting of mashed potatoes, horseradish and honey to the areas of defect formation (the compress must be wrapped in polyethylene and wrapped in a warm cloth, it is recommended to lie motionless on the stomach with it for at least 1 hour);
- in the treatment, rubs made of honey and mummy are perfect, which can be used during massage sessions.
Surgical treatment of hernias during the recovery period can also be supplemented by various folk methods.
True, it is important to consider that some of the components that make up folk recipes are strong allergens. To avoid a negative reaction from your body, it is recommended to stop using recipes that include components that a person is allergic to.
The need for surgery
The last approach to therapy is the surgical treatment of the hernia. Previously, rather complex types of hernia repair were used, which are dangerous for the patient due to the high probability of incorrect operation. However, since then there has been a significant change in the principles of surgical treatment of hernias.
Today, doctors are trying to use the least invasive operations.
The principles of surgical treatment are as simple as ever: the operation should combine minimal intervention and maximum results. An example of adherence to these principles is, for example, the treatment of a hernia with a laser. With its help, it is possible, by inflicting minimal trauma to the patient, to eliminate the protrusion, and with it the negative symptoms of the disease.
The open technique of hernia repair, which many people are so afraid of, is practically not used today. Its use is relevant only if the hernia is large, that is, the disease is severely neglected due to the fact that the patient has not consulted a doctor for a long time.
It is important to remember that it is not enough just to operate on the protrusion, but it is necessary to take preventive measures to prevent the recurrence of the development of the disease. Without prevention, all treatment may end up being completely useless.
A hernia of the spinal column is a serious disease that requires patients to pay maximum attention to their health . In the treatment of this pathology, complex approaches are used, since they have proven themselves to be the most effective. With modern access to specialists and careful implementation of recommendations, patients will be able to avoid surgery, managing only conservative treatment.