IDD Therapy To Fix Your Disc Bulge Without Surgery 

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Disc bulges in the lower back at L4-L5 and L5-S1 are the most common root causes of lower back pain and sciatica. Whether a minor disc protrusion, a larger herniation or degenerative disc disease, disc bulges can be the source of real pain. All too often they are not treated in the best way, either in the clinic, or at home. Which leads people to end up going down the surgical route after many failed attempts and a lot of pain. However, there is a better way and today we’ll discuss not only IDD Therapy for spinal decompression, but a full approach that will help you with your lower back disc bulge.

In today’s article and video, we’ll peel back the curtain to reveal our non-surgical approach to helping patients around the world with their disc bugles and herniations. For some of you, you’ll be able to act on all of the techniques we discuss today, for others you’ll be able to act on some of the strategies we discuss. Rest assured, we’ll be covering it all, from Non-surgical treatment using IDD Therapy to decompress the discs in your lower back and help healing, through to the right rehabilitation exercises that you must be doing at home to turbo charge your short term recovery. All the way to the long term strategies that you’ll want to employ to ensure you capitalise on the healing that takes place and rebuild the strength in your lower back discs for the long term too!

Suffering From Excruciating Lower Back Pain Or Sciatica

FIt is very likely that you’re first going to be looking for relief because you’ve got bad back pain or sciatica, or a mixture of both, perhaps with a formal or informal diagnosis of a lower back disc bulge or herniation. It is very common that your back pain will have been there for a long period of time. In our clinical experience, and with members of the program, most have not come to find us after a short period of back pain. More often than not, you’re reading this article, visiting us in clinic, or looking at the Back In Shape Program, after a long struggle with back pain or sciatica, with your own collection of previous failed treatments. This is important. 

We know from asking our members that almost 40% of them have had either injections or surgery for their lower back pain before they found us! The point here is that you’re probably going about daily life regardless of the pain. Some of you are dosed up on pain killers, others of you grit your teeth and get on with it, in spite of another flare up being around the corner. Recognising this is vital to your success as there will be many things you are doing on a daily basis that are far from ideal for your lower back and its recovery.

Step one: Prep for your back pain or sciatica before IDD Therapy

It is understandable that some of you will feel too nervous to do any form of exercises, and if you are really too fearful then discuss this with your clinician who can help talk it through. Hopefully the realization above helps get you thinking already. Either before or in tandem with your first treatment using IDD Therapy, you should be doing some simple exercises to start to learn how to engage your core in a safe way and move correctly on a daily basis. If you’re not sure, then the “fixing back pain masterclass” is a great free resource that has been used by countless people around the world to help fix their back pain. This will at least teach you some of the basics. You can always build on this with the membership to the Back In Shape Program too, more on this later.

Why talk about exercises before IDD Therapy? 

The simple truth here is that whatever treatment you’re having, whether it is some simple osteopathy, chiropractic or massage treatment, or injections or even surgery from your spinal surgeon, you have to live with yourself afterwards. That is to say, you’re going to be getting off the hospital bed or treatment couch and heading home regardless.

This means the more capable you are, the more educated you are, the stronger you are, as far as is reasonably possible, the better you will do with treatment.  For example, if you cannot even provide simple bracing of your core lying down because you lack the skill to do so, how are you going to provide support after any treatment no matter how great this treatment may be?

Sure, you won’t master things perfectly, but if you can even get a little better before treatment, it will help you be a better responder to treatment.

Step two: IDD therapy to help your disc herniation

Now you’re ready for IDD Therapy. This can be most impactful when done in tandem with the right rehabilitation which we’ll discuss shortly. IDD Therapy is one of few treatment options that can work directly on the disc that is herniated, bulging or degenerative. Gently the therapy decompresses your lumbar spine, providing a pumping and unloading of your lower back discs. 

A good analogy for IDD Therapy and spinal decompression is that of a water balloon that’s been squashed and becomes fat. As the IDD Therapy decompresses your lower back discs, the gentle stretch takes pressure off the “balloon” and the bulging sideways reduces. This is part of the benefit but more importantly, there is a supporting of the natural exchange of nutrient and hydration into the disc to help with the healing process.

Non-surgical lumbar decompression with IDD Therapy

The only other mechanism for decompressing the lower back and taking pressure off the nerve is the common lumbar decompression surgery, whereby there is no load taken off the back. In these instances, the bulged part of the balloon mentioned earlier is simply removed from the equation.

Simply put, IDD Therapy is helping work to speed up a natural healing process to reduce the negative effect of the bulge or herniation. Over time the process of healing will take place helping the disc to stabilise. In our experience this is much more favorable than removing a part of the disc that could well have gone through its own healing process all be it with a little support from treatments. 

Your discs are spacers for the vertebra, if we are simply removing bits of them over time, the amount of “spacer” left will continue to decrease. Although sometimes because symptoms are so bad, people end up having emergency surgery, if you can avoid doing so it will be all the better, and this is why IDD Therapy is such a powerful tool in the fight against back pain and sciatica. 

Step Three: rehabilitation alongside your IDD Therapy for maximum benefit

In our experience, for IDD therapy to have a maximum benefit there are two rehabilitation strategies that you must adhere to, whilst avoiding the wrong sort of exercises. If you do this right, you’ll be able to really support the healing process in the best way and find that your body is best placed to be an “over responder” to IDD Therapy – this is a good thing!

Strategy one: At home spinal decompression and recovery support daily

We recommend a complete strategy, such as those discussed in the Masterclass and membership program linked earlier. Here we’ll cover the essentials for you though and give a few options. Firstly, at home decompression techniques such as the towel, and bed decompression are ways in which you can continue to support the healing process at home, and interrupt the compression that is taking place on your spine every day. We have a full video on 3 decompression stretches you can do at home which you can check out, the first two will likely be the best for you as well as the towel mobiliastion at the end (the bonus one). In addition to this, the regular use of contrast bathing at home will help continue to support the healing process by effective management of inflammation without side effects of drugs or medications. You can see the step-by-step guide to contrast therapy for back pain there too.

Ultimately doing these two techniques, the at-home decompression and the contrast bathing will support the great work that the IDD therapy does to help your lower back disc herniation recover. The decompression stretches take 2 to 5 minutes, and can easily be done multiple times a day, as can the hot-cold therapy!

Strategy two: improve your competence & strength making daily life safer

The second part of your “home work” should be to work on strengthening your body, this is with simple core exercises and movements to start to teach your core to engage properly supporting your neutral spine and stabilising your lower back. There is a good chance, if you have a long-standing disc bugle, that you’re not doing this right and so learning to do it correctly is vital!

Proper core exercises whilst maintaining a neutral spine, learning proper strengthening exercises to help build strength in the discs, and proper movement technique means that with each passing day, week and IDD Therapy session, your body is better and better placed to respond well to the treatment, and deal with the weight of your own body after each treatment. 

This is so important that we insist that all patients that visit us at the Back In Shape Cheltenham HQ for treatment do the Back In Shape Program alongside the treatment they’re having.

Avoid the wrong exercises and movements if you have a disc injury

The last thing you want to do if you have a lower back disc injury, herniation or otherwise, is the wrong exercises, and we cover this extensively in the podcast episode on the “wrong exercises for a herniated disc”. But we will include a couple of examples and principles here to guide you if you’re having IDD Therapy. 

When you’re having IDD Therapy, your back is going through a healing process, tightening up the damaged ligaments that make up your disc. Make no mistake, small amounts of movement will happen from walking and moving around in general, but there is no need whatsoever to add in more movement by way of exercises like the following:

  • Knee hugs & child’s pose
  • Knee rocks – left and right
  • Pelvic tilts
  • Cat-cow or cat-cammel

All of these back stretches have two terrible things in common. The first thing is that they are all nearly always prescribed for those with back pain, sometimes, even those having spinal decompression – unfortunately. The second is that they all involve extreme flexion of your lower back stretching the poor discs even more, unnecessarily so!

As we’ve discussed so many times over the years, flexion is bad, because when you have ligaments that are damaged, they resist stretching less well, by definition of the fact they’re injured. Short term they need to restore strength and when even the simple stretch that happens from your own body weight standing upright gives pain (overcomes their strength) there is no need whatsoever to add more flexion and stretching.

Step 4: Leaning on IDD Therapy for long term rehabilitation of a disc herniation

For those of you working through the course of IDD Therapy for your disc injury and back pain, as you progress and recover IDD Therapy can be a fantastic tool to help you build lasting strength in your lower back and really rebuild those injured discs and surrounding structures properly. 

Spinal decompression works great to help with the healing process but once you get to a certain point in your recovery and you’re feeling better you’ll be moving to help the second part of healing take place. This is remodeling-healing, helping the discs and surrounding parts of your lower back rebuild strength. 

At this point you might not be having your IDD Therapy as frequently, but you’ll still be doing work on your rehab in between. Here you will be doing exercise like those we’ve mentioned in the masterclass and program: squats, hip hinges and more. These you will be using to build strength through carefully exposing your back to load with your spine held in a neutral position with your strong core. 

These exercises provide the stimulation for strengthening to take place, IDD Therapy’s role here, for our patients, is to support this process, so even if you do push yourself, you know that you’ve got a session booked in to help your body in that healing and adaptation process. At this stage, when you come off the IDD Therapy table, you’ll feel that your lower back discs are happy to have your body weight put back on again because they’re so much stronger than they used to be when you started!

Closing thoughts on IDD Therapy for your lower back disc bulge

Ultimately, IDD Therapy spinal decompression is a fantastic non-surgical approach for lower back pain that can work on injured discs in a way few other treatments can. At Back In Shape Cheltenham HQ we work to combine IDD Therapy with our Class IV Laser Therapy and other treatments to offer a uniquely complete treatment approach that is supported with what is now a global back pain rehabilitation program – The Back In Shape Program. If you are close enough to be able to visit us for IDD Therapy at the HQ we’d be happy to help you with your disc injury, and for those of you who cannot. We would have no trouble recommending you visit a local clinic that offers IDD Therapy and support you with the Back In Shape Program to make sure you have the best chance possible of rebuilding your damaged discs and restore strength because it all boils down to what the herniation is stopping us doing. 

These are tools, strategies and therapies that will help you do the right things to get back to a pain free life, doing what you love!

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