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A herniated disk can stop you in your tracks

The second you suffer a neck or back injury is the second you'll realize you require medical assistance. This isn't typically the type of injury that you're able to effectively treat on your own.

A herniated disk can result from many things, such as:

  • Attempting to lift an object that is too heavy
  • Sudden twisting or turning, especially when carrying a heavy load
  • A traumatic event, such as a fall from height or car accident

How to treat a herniated disk

There is no right or wrong way to treat a herniated disk, as this is based largely on the extent of your injury. Some options your doctor may discuss with you include:

  • Medication: For example, over-the-counter pain medication, such as Advil, can help relieve pain and discomfort as you recover.
  • Physical therapy: If rest doesn't bring you back to 100 percent, you may require physical therapy. This can help you minimize the pain of a herniated disk while regaining your strength and mobility.
  • Surgery: It's typically a last resort, but some people with a herniated disk will require surgery. You may begin to look into this if the symptoms of your injury don't improve within six weeks.
  • Alternative medicine: Some of your options include massage, yoga, acupuncture and chiropractic services.

Depending on your profession, you may run the risk of suffering a herniated disk during your workday. For instance, this could happen when lifting heavy packages on and off a truck.

If you suffer a back injury at work, report it to your employer, receive treatment and then learn more about filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

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