A herniated disc occurs when the fluid at the center of a disc slips out to the tough exterior. Slipped disc causes severe back pain and general body weakness. Walking is one of the most effective pain management therapies for people suffering from a herniated disc.
How walking Helps in Pain Management for a Herniated Disc
Walking is a suitable activity for a herniated disc. The exercise helps to increase oxygen and blood flow to the cells. Walking also helps maintain well-hydrated discs, which helps in pain relief and fast healing. Here are the benefits of walking for people suffering from a slipped disc.
Stimulates the Release of Pain Relieving Hormones
Walking is a mild exercise. When we work out our bodies, the brain gets stimulated and produces endorphins. These brain chemicals act as brain opiate receptors, creating a feeling of pleasure and relief from acute pain.
Aerobic walking also stimulates the brain to release serotonin, and this hormone helps stabilize the patient’s mood. Serotonin makes you feel happy and promotes pleasure and a sense of well-being.
A combination of serotonin and endorphins in the torso muscles distracts the brain’s pain receptors. According to the gate-theory of pain control, large signals get more brain attention. The serotonin surge and the muscle movements are more significant signals than pain. Your brain will not concentrate more on pain, thus the relief.
Walking Increases Blood Circulation
Your body contains a chain of muscles with the spine as the center link. When walking, the body has to supply oxygen to your legs. The blood carrying the oxygen passes through the spine, thus nourishing the spinal muscles. Strong spinal muscles hold discs together, gradually relieving pain and preventing future problems.
Contraction and expansion of muscles produce physiologic toxins. These toxins cause spinal stiffness, and a stiff spine is prone to disc fractures. A herniated disc is even more painful if your spine is stiff. Walking assists your body in getting rid of the toxins, making your spine more flexible.
Helps to Build Strong and Flexible Muscles
A sedentary lifestyle makes your back muscles stiff, and the stiffness leads to pressure build-up on the lower spine. Too much pressure on the lumbar muscles leads to abnormal spine curvature. An abnormally curved spine is prone to disc slipping, leading to a painful lower back. Walking helps regain the normal curvature, reducing pain from a disc herniation.
Stiff muscles restrict the broad range of spinal motion. A herniated disc becomes more painful when you force stiff spinal muscles to move. Walking activates and stretches the erector muscles, creating a wide range of spinal movement. A flexible spine is less painful, even with a herniated disc.
If you’re suffering from a herniated disc, start walking programs immediately. Regular and guided walking therapy is a sure way to restore your spinal function and alleviate pain. It’s far better than bed rest.
Always consult a spinal specialist before you start walking. A professional will advise and guide you accordingly. Doctors will recommend the best schedule for you, depending on the nature of your condition. Contact St. Louis Pain Consultants for a comprehensive pain management program.