I invite you to read on www.wyldeabouthealth.com the response I wrote earlier today to the treatment of pain due to hernitated disc.
Non-surgical choices include physical therapy, analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications, and epidural injections. The latter is used to stop the pain over a period of time (e.g., 1 month). The epidural injection is like when the dentist 'freezes' the nerve before drilling. In my case it did not help at all but in other cases it provides adequate relief.
Physical therapy should be part of the treatment. This usually includes stretching, strengthening, and aerobic fitness. I strongly recommend that you obtain professional guidance from a physiotherapist to ensure the program you follow will in fact not result in more pain.
The analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications are the common choice in conventional medicine and when it fails epidural injections are tried and then surgery may be recommended (if the patient accepts).
You will read in the other response, that I wrote earlier today, that I refused surgery. I have the pain in the toes, sometimes both feet; it is a burning sensation and the intensity grows during the day reaching its max at night. This pain has worsened over the last 3 months after I stopped the exercise program designed to strengthen (plus stretching) my abdomincal muscles and back muscles PLUS loose weight. The latter is critical to reduce the weight on the spine. I got carried away with pain and sleep research and neglected my health so now I pay the price. That said, I use herbal remedies to effectively and safely remove the pain.
After a good night sleep with California poppy (alone) or California poppy plus Hops, the burning sensation in the toes is gone but as the day progresses the pain intensifies. Even as I am writing this I cannot ignore the intensity in the right foot. In a few minutes I will take a strong blend of anti-inflammatory herbs and if I only obtain partial relief I will add an antispasmodic herb. Tonight, to fall asleep, I will need the full dose of 2.5 to 3 grams of the dried herb top of California poppy (concentrated extract). For many years now, this has been my cure, remedy, for the back pain and neuropathic pain in my foot (feet on occaison) and for insomnia.
It is very important to take a strong herbal anti-inflammatory remedy. There are several on the market. I am obviously biased and use those of the company I created (CuraPhyte Technologies). A health care practitioner should be able to recommend several brands.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information.
Do not get discouraged. Chronic pain is a long and touch battle. I can encourage you by testifying that herbal remedies have been helping me since 2007 and I am fully functional. The chronic pain is always there; it is the intensity that varies during a day. What is key is that I have learned to use the anti-inflammatory herbs as soon as the back pain begins and or toe pain becomes unbearable. Antispasmodic herb when the muscles are cramping or in spasm. I don't wait as it is easier to reduce pain when it is not at its maximum intensity. Keep in mind that one product may reduce pain intensity by 30% or more but it may take the combination to reduce it by over 80%. This is why patients with chronic moderate to severe pain usually take more than 1 or 2 pain medications. If you are being treated by a physician, talk to them about Pavosic (www.pavosic.ca). It has been used effectively in many cases of chronic pain as an adjuvant analgesic. In other words, as complement to the already prescribed pain medications. I stress the importance of seeing a physician, pharmacist or other health care professional prior to adding any herbal remedies to your pain medications as drug interactions are possible. Do not forget that California poppy cause drowsiness so it needs to be taken at night (in any case this is when pain is usually at its peak intensity).
Response by Guy Chamberland M.Sc., Ph.D.