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Lumbar Herniated Disc - Home Treatment

To reduce pain

The following steps may help to reduce pain:

  • Relax. Find a comfortable position for rest. You might prefer lying on the floor or a medium-firm bed with a small pillow under your head and another under your knees. Or you can try lying on your side with a pillow between your knees. Don't stay in one position for too long.
  • Walk. Take a short walk (10 to 20 minutes) on a level surface (no slopes, hills, or stairs) every 2 to 3 hours. Walk only distances you can manage without pain, especially leg pain.
  • Take pain medicine if needed. These medicines usually work best if you take them on a regular schedule instead of waiting until the pain is severe.
  • Try heat or ice. There is not strong evidence that either heat or ice will help, but you can try them to see if they help you. You may also want to try switching between heat and cold. You can try:
    • A heating pad on a low or medium setting for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
    • A warm shower in place of one session with the heating pad.
    • Single-use heat wraps that last up to 8 hours.
    • An ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. You can use an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a thin towel.

To strengthen your back

Keep active and do exercises, as recommended by your doctor or physical therapist, to help you return to your usual level of activity. Core stabilization exercises can help you strengthen the muscles of your trunk to protect your back.

actionset.gif Fitness: Increasing Core Stability

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 21, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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