I am interrupting this food blog to share some useful information: natural healing methods for a slipped disc.
In 2006, I had a slipped disc and although surgery looked on the cards, I recovered naturally. Later, when I was better, I was told by my consultant physiotherapist, that “90% recover naturally”. Wish someone had told me that before.
Today in 2018: This has proved one of my popular blog posts. Although I have had no recurrence, I continue to care for my back daily with the tips below to alleviate pain and promote healing. I also add to the tips as time goes on.
Tips for natural healing of slipped disc
- Find a healer who believes nature heals and whom you trust. Try several until you find the one who suits you and your condition.
- The trick is to break the pain/tension/inflammation cycle by relaxing tense muscles and lessening pressure on the nerves. Breathe as if in labour to relax: out through the mouth, in through the nose. Relaxation relieves pain.
- Immerse in a warm bath with Epsom Salts for at least 15 minutes – the heat will help relaxation. “Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and will help replenish magnesium stores,” says Dr. Northrup on US Epsom Salt Council.
- Let gravity be your ally. Lie down in the Alexander Technique’s semi-supine position (spine flat, knees bent, feet flat and head slightly raised on a pillow) at regular intervals. This position allows the spine to elongate and relax.
- Stay mobile. Walk, swim or dance. Practice gentle yoga, Pilates or T’ai chi. Avoid positions that increase discomfort such as sitting down on a chair.
- Before even considering surgery, look at your footwear. I could write a thesis on the tragedy of women’s shoes which only for care for looks – not comfort. The holy grail is a stylish shoe that also supports arches and ankles. I recommend FitFlops – sign up with an email address for regular offers on less popular designs (I got great ankle boots for £30). AS FitFlop has got more successful, it has added a bewildering amount of styles. So make sure the style fits your width – for my slightly wide feet, I choose Microwobbleboard or Anatomicush.
- How is your bed? Again, before even contemplating surgery, sort out your resting place. I would rather (and I have done) sleep on the floor than on a too soft or unsupporting mattress.
- Use heat. My best friend was an electric heat-pad (like a mini-electric blanket) for the small of my back when lying down in the semi-supine position.
- Drink water regularly to plump up those discs.
- Eat foods with anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric – add turmeric root or ground turmeric to savoury dishes. Or try the Ayurvedic recipe, Golden Milk, a comforting drink of heated milk with turmeric with black pepper which increases the bio-availability of turmeric‘s active ingredient, curcumin. If using plant milk, instead of cow’s milk, add coconut oil – the fat in oil or milk also boosts the bio-availability of curcumin.
- Use a ginger compress to soften and relax the traumatised tissues. T’ai chi master and massager, Pete Glenn, insisted I use it daily and he was right. This traditional Chinese remedy sounds so simple – but it works. Try it for back or neck pain and be amazed by its effectiveness!
1 oz ground ginger simmered for 20 minutes in 1 pint of water.
Let the sludge cool slightly and immerse a flannel. Squeeze out the flannel and apply to the affected part of your spine. Either repeat at regular intervals OR do lazy version: cover the flannel with a plastic bag to contain the drips and wrap the whole lot with a long scarf or towel to keep it in place.
Ginger is hot to eat and aids digestion because it dilates the blood vessels – applied externally it has a similar, and penetrative, effect.
Long after the flannel has cooled down, you will feel the WARMTH of the ginger, doing its zingy thing.
If you do nothing, make and apply a ginger poultice, put on some calming music and lie down in the semi-supine position – now!