Lies and myths about disc hernias
By: Ana Serrano
MYTH 1: “Only the elderly suffer from herniated disc”
FACT: Acute disc herniation is more common in older people due to degeneration of the body, but young people may also suffer from herniated discs, whether due to an accident, the practice of sports or bad habits..
MYTH 2: “All disc herniations should be operated”
FACT: Currently there are many methods to treat disc herniations with which the risks and complications that surgery and anesthesia entail are avoided. ONLY the cases in which there is a risk of serious sequelae and / or very intense pain or the hernias that produce horsetail syndrome, need to be operated. This syndrome affects one in 700,000 patients.
MYTH 3: “Herniated discs heal with rest”
FACT:Rest makes the pain go away for a while because the body heals the lesions, then the inflammation and pain go down but the disease continues. But the real cause has not been treated, so the pain returns and may become stronger than the previous time.
MYTH 4: “It is not necessary to treat disc herniations that have tolerable pain without internal injuries”
FACT: It is better to start a treatment on time as it ensures better healing and an improvement in the prognosis. If the herniated disc is expected to improve naturally, a good long-term prognosis is not guaranteed.
MYTH 5: “Blockage is one of the most effective treatments to relieve a herniated disc.”
FACT: The blockage with corticosteroids and anesthetics is widely used, but it only treats the pain and does not the cause of it, so the disease persists and the pain returns. It can also be a much stronger pain.
MYTH 6: “After a herniated disc surgery you don’t feel pain again”
FACT: Surgery carries risks. But there are documented cases in which patients with disc herniations who opted for surgery began to feel discomfort in their backs after the intervention. There have been reports of more severe discomfort and pain than before surgery or that after the operation there have been other problems such as weakness, tingling or numbness in the legs.
MYTH 7: «After surgery you do not need to use alternative treatments”
FACT: If you chose to relieve your disc herniation by surgery and were the cases in which the discomfort continued or worsened, of course you can use alternative treatments to relieve pain or reduce discomfort. Today there are massages, acupuncture, imanotherapy, chiropractic and more useful methods in pain relief.
MYTH 8: “If you already have a herniated disc, it cannot improve”
FACT: 90% of herniated discs improve by changing daily habits for healthier ones: food, physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, good postural hygiene and physical therapies.
MYTH 9: “Las hernias discales siempre producen dolor”
FACT: 30% of healthy people have herniated discs, and 70% have disc protrusions, but they are not diseases to be alarmed if they do not cause pain.