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椎間板ヘルニアはツライ!! 腰痛を改善する7つの方法

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腰痛は、本当にツライですね。特に「ヘルニア」という言葉には怯えてしまう人も多いのではないでしょうか?

椎間板ヘルニアになったら、手術をしないと改善されない……と思われているようですが、手術をするのは最終手段で、腰痛を改善する方法はいろいろとあります。症状に合わせて
自分なりの改善方法を見つけていきましょう。

本記事では、さまざまな治療法をご紹介していきますので、腰痛を抱えて悩んでいる方は、ぜひ自分に合った改善方法を見つけて、医師と相談しながら辛い腰痛を乗り切ってください。

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椎間板ヘルニアとは!?

腰痛

「ヘルニア」という敵の正体を知りましょう
腰痛がすべてヘルニアというわけではありません。まずは背骨の仕組みを理解しましょう。
背骨は頸椎から仙椎まで椎骨と椎間板がつながって出来ています。椎骨は24個あり(頸椎7、 胸椎12、腰椎5)、椎間板は椎骨と椎骨の間にあります。

椎間板は軟骨でできています。構造は繊維輪という硬い軟骨の囲いの中に、柔らかい髄核という軟骨が入っているのです。髄核がクッションの役目をしてくれて、重力を分散します。
その髄核が繊維輪をやぶって飛び出した状態を椎間板ヘルニアと言います。
ここでは、椎間板ヘルニアによる腰痛を改善する7つの方法をご紹介します。

安静にする

単純なようですが、最も良い治療法なのです。強い腰痛が起きた時には、じっとして動かないことが一番です。とにかく痛い姿勢はとらない、痛いことはしないということが大事です。無理な動作は、決してしないことです。
ゆっくり休める環境を作れることが理想ですね

<h3鎮痛剤を服用する

痛み止め(内服薬・座薬など)を使って炎症を抑えます。筋弛緩剤やステロイド剤などですので、医師に相談して処方箋どおりに服用してください。また皮膚から吸収する外用薬(湿布)を併用するようにしても良いですね。
肌の弱い人は、長時間貼り続けるとかぶれることがあるので要注意です

コルセットを装着する

コルセットを着けることによって、腹腔内圧が高まり椎間板にかかる圧力を下げて体幹を維持してくれます。しかし着けっぱなしには注意です。コルセットに頼りすぎると、腹筋力が低下してしまいます。
腰痛の一番辛い時にだけコルセットに守ってもらいましょう

注射を打つ

我慢できない強い腰痛の場合は、仙骨硬膜外ブロック注射、選択的神経ブロック注射、椎間板内ステロイド注射などを打ちます。慢性の腰痛の場合は、トリガーポイント注射、静脈注射、点滴注射などを打つことになります。
ブロック注射は、かなり痛いです

腰痛がおさまったら運動療法

鎮痛剤や注射で腰痛が少しおさまったら、運動療法で筋力をつけます。ウォーキングやストレッチ、筋肉トレーニング、水中歩行など自分が無理なく続けられる運動をすることで腰痛を和らげます。

特に水中歩行は、浮力があるので腰への負荷が軽く、水の抵抗に逆らって歩くことで筋力をつけることができます。水深の浅いところでは、体の負荷が軽くなり、深くなるほど負荷がかかります。自分に合った抵抗負荷の水深を選ぶのがポイントです。
要するに運動して筋力でヘルニアの部分をガードしてしまうのです

リハビリテーション

物理療法としては、腰椎牽引療法があります。つまり引っ張って腰椎を伸ばす方法ですね。他には温熱療法にホットパック、赤外線、超音波、超短波などもあります。また温水浴、マッサージ、指圧なども効果的です。
リハビリは辛抱強く続けることが、大切です

手術

上記の方法でヘルニアの腰痛が改善されない場合は、手術ということになります。しかし腰椎椎間板ヘルニアで手術の適応となるのは、約5%です。我慢できない強い腰痛のために日常生活ができないほど悪化している場合です。

手術方法としては、直接ヘルニアを除去する方法や、椎間板内圧を減らしてヘルニアを引っ込める手術などがあります。しかし合併症の危険などもあるので、手術は最終手段として考えた方が良いですね。
医師から手術を勧められたときは、他の方法を模索するためにもセカンドオピニオンを受けることを提案します

まとめ:自分に合った腰痛の治療法を選びましょう

本記事では、椎間板ヘルニアによって起こる腰痛の治療法を紹介してきました。念のため、もう一度記しておきます。

  • 安静にする
  • 鎮痛剤を服用する
  • コルセットを装着する
  • 注射を打つ
  • 腰痛がおさまったら運動療法
  • リハビリテーション
  • 手術

医師と相談しながら、自分に合った方法を探していきましょう。椎間板ヘルニアは、長年にわたって背骨や腰椎に負担をかけてきて積み重なってきた病状とも言えます。ですから気長に腰痛と仲良くなるような気持ちで治療をしていきましょう。

また医師の診察は必ず受けましょう。素人考えで、勝手に治療をしてしまうと逆に悪化することもあります。また医師に診察を受けて治療をしても改善が見られない場合は、別の医師の診察を受けてみるのも良いですね。腰痛を早く和らげるためにブロック注射を勧める医師もいれば、リハビリ療法を奨励する医師もいます。
自分の痛みは、自分が一番良く知っているので、納得の行く治療方法を探したいものですね。

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