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Tips for Preventing Recurrent Disc Herniation


Recurrent disc herniation is a term often used to describe spinal disc discomfort that returns after initial treatment for a herniated disc (sometimes referred to as a “ruptured” or "bulging” disc), which usually includes surgery. Many factors have the potential to contribute to this condition. However, there are some ways you can reduce your risk of needing further treatment for disc-related pain after your initial treatment.

Get an Accurate Initial Diagnosis

Getting an accurate diagnosis early on is one of the ways to prevent recurrent disc herniation. It's sometimes difficult to clearly determine which nerve is irritated by a disc. However, being as descriptive as possible about your symptoms increases the odds that the actual source of your discomfort will be effectively detected and treated. Include the following details when discussing possible herniated disc symptoms:

• The location of your symptoms, and what movements or activities trigger them
• Whether or not your symptoms change throughout your day
• When you first noticed your discomfort and how it has affected your daily life
• Anything you know of that may have contributed to your discomfort

If you have a herniated disc, treatment options can include conservative methods such as rest and medication. If your symptoms are severe or don’t improve with these therapies, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure called a discectomy.

Follow Post-Surgery Instructions/Guidelines

You'll also decrease your chances of having issues with recurrent disc herniation by following post-surgery instructions or guidelines. This can be beneficial, since getting back to certain activities too soon increases your risk of shifting the disc that was treated or damaging a different one. As you recover, further protect your healing spine by:

• Avoiding excessive bending or twisting
• Getting the doctor’s approval before returning to a more physically demanding job
• Not lifting anything too heavy
• Using devices like back support pillows

Adopt Healthy Eating Habits

If you're not mindful of your eating habits after your initial surgery, you may also be more susceptible to recurrent disc herniation. Start by making an effort to maintain or get within a healthy weight range to ease stress on your spine and its discs. A healthy diet also gives you a boost of the nutrients that are good for your spine. What's more, many of the same foods considered healthy also naturally reduce the inflammation that plays a role in the recurrence of disc-related pain. With your diet, aim for a mix that includes:

• Nutrient-rich fruits and veggies
• Low-fat dairy products
• Skinless chicken, fish, and seafood along with other lean proteins
• Healthy starches like beans and legumes

Find Ways to Get Regular Exercise

Exercise can reduce the risk of recurrent disc herniation by strengthening the muscles that support the spine and the discs located within it. If supporting soft tissues aren't sufficiently strong, pressure from your daily movements is absorbed in a more direct way by your spine. This is also something that can shift the disc that was treated or damage another one. Work with your doctor, surgeon, or physical therapist to develop a post-surgery exercise plan that's safe and effective for you. Forms of exercise that tend to be beneficial and safe for recovering herniated disc patients include:

• Comfortably paced walking
• Cycling on flat surfaces or a stationary bike
• Water aerobics, water walking, and other activities that can be done in a pool
• Light strength-training workouts that target your core spine-supporting muscles

Even though discectomy surgery is a common and generally quite successful procedure, a hole is frequently left in the outer wall of the disc. In fact, 70 percent of all reherniations come from large holes in the disc. These reherniations often require additional surgery or even fusions. Fortunately, there’s a new treatment specifically designed to close the large holes that are often left in spinal discs after discectomy surgery. Barricaid is a bone-anchored device proven to reduce reherniations, and it’s been shown to be 95 percent effective in a large study. This means 95 percent of patients didn’t undergo a reoperation due to reherniation in the 2-year study timeframe.

If you have any questions about the Barricaid treatment or how to get access to Barricaid, ask your doctor or contact us at 844-288-7474.

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