The muscles get tired quickly, causing pain. Edema then develops in the affected area and the blood circulation is disturbed. The muscles and nerve roots do not receive enough nutrition. The only way to reduce the edema is through the lymphatic vessels and veins and by the micro-vibrations caused by the dynamic contraction and relaxation of muscles. However, when the muscles are tired the edema does not allow the body to replenish its resources. This is a vicious circle. The weakened muscles are unable to provide sufficient support to the spinal cord. Even a minor strain can lead to complications. Sharp movements are extremely dangerous. You should be particularly cautious in the event of a herniated disc. Even travelling by car becomes problematic. If possible a home appointment should be booked with a doctor. If this is not possible, a special orthopaedic belt should be worn when travelling.

Treatment during the acute period of the disease focusses on the quick reduction of the edema and improving blood circulation. Diuretics and anti-inflammatory drugs are usually prescribed during this period.

It is difficult to treat a patient with a herniated disc because, on one hand, it is not recommended to relax the intervertebral discs, but on the other hand, the back muscles badly need relaxation. Traditional massages are also extremely risky. A careless movement can cause further damage to the tissue in the affected area and cause the symptoms to worsen a few hours later. Even if a person feels better straight after the massage, the edema can become worse in six hours. During the night, the muscles relax and by the morning the edema, pain and stiffness can increase. Therefore, treatment with medication during the acute phase of the disease should be supplemented by the emergency measures described on the “Back ache” page. The procedures at night should be taken very seriously and where possible should not be missed, as the edema generally reaches a critical size during the night. After the acute treatment phase a long period of rehabilitation starts.

Rehabilitation without surgery

A herniated disc may have varying levels of risk depending on its position, size and character. It is only possible to diagnose it with the help of an MRI scan. The most dangerous hernias are those which put pressure on the spinal cord or its roots. These herniated discs require immediate surgery. Their symptoms can be the following: acute urine retention and the pronounced malfunctioning of other internal organs which do not disappear after first aid measures.

Herniated discs which put pressure on the spinal cord and require immediate surgery constitute a very minor percentage of cases. Most herniated discs can be rehabilitated without surgery, even if they exert stress on the nerve root. The most important task of the rehabilitation is to help the body reduce the edema for a few months and to restore the functions of the back muscles. The long-term administration of anti-inflammatory medication can cause side effects, meaning that the rehabilitation of patients with a herniated disc is more advisable when no medication is being taken.

General principles and aims of rehabilitation

• Treatment to improve the blood supply to the back muscles, nerves and spinal cord;
• Measures to improve lymphatic drainage to reduce the edema and remove dead cells;
• Decongestive measures (lymph drainage);
• Support of the stabilisation of the weakened intervertebral disc with healthy cells;
• Avoiding extreme physical stress and if it does occur, take first-aid measures immediately.

The following is prohibited during rehabilitation

• The use of vibro-massager devices – they are much too powerful;
• Rubbing the area around the damaged disc with a brush or sponge when showering or bathing;
• Trying to reset the disc or vertebra – doing so will not strengthen it but actually cause additional damage to the cells;
• Electrical stimulation because the muscles are already overloaded.
• Stretching the spine vertically (e.g. doing exercises on a horizontal bar) – this can lead to a reflex reaction of the back muscles which are already overstressed. This significantly increases the risk of serious complications.
• Manual massages are not always beneficial. They can cause the edema to increase several hours later and it can be difficult to get up in the morning after due to acute pain.
• Do not use painkillers unless you have good reason to do so. Pain helps your body adapt and protects the spine from additional damage.

Rehabilitation programme

The muscle functions are restored and strengthened by compensating the micro-vibration deficit using an external source. This is a kind of massage at cell level, using micro-vibrations of acoustic frequencies that are natural for our organism. The procedure is called microvibrational therapy and the patient can perform it at home. Microvibrational therapy both improves the lymphatic drainage and helps reduce the edema.*

Microvibrational therpy is a type of sound vibroacoustic therapy that has been used in medical practice for over 15 years. This method of rehabilitation has been chosen due to its high effectiveness and the fact that it can be performed at home. Medical devices for the therapy are affordable and easy to use without supervision.

There are a lot of ways to perform the microvibrational therapy. The basic principle is that short treatment at short intervals brings the biggest effects. Therapy is performed not only in the area of a herniated disc or the back muscles, but also in the area of the liver and the kidneys, as these organs are responsible for cleaning the blood of metabolic products and ensuring the lymph system is working properly.*
The fonotherapy treatment methods differ depending on the stage of treatment.

Week 1

Methods for compensating a micro-vibration deficit with the help of Fonovit medical devices when pain is experienced or if symptoms worsen (microvibrational therapy has to be performed 6 times a day during the first week).

Area of application  Apply fonotherapy to each area 6 times a day every
4 hours (1 treatment during the night). First week.
Mode Start time Increase in time End time
Kidneys 2 5 min. + 1 min. daily 15 min.
Liver 1 3 min. + 1 min. every second day 7 min.
Left and right side of the herniated disc 1 2 min. + 1 min. every second day 5 min.
Below and above the herniated disc 1 2 min. + 2 min. daily 5 min.

Application during night hours is very important to prevent complications.

Main treatment

The number of procedures per day is gradually reduced and the procedure time increased. The specific treatment protocol depends on the location of the herniated disc.

The method of compensating the microvibrational deficit if a herniated disc is located in the thoracic or lumbar section of the spine.

Area of application Mode 5 times a day during the first week 4 times a day during week 2-12 2-3 times a day after week 12
Kidneys 2 20 min. 25 min. 35-40 min.
Liver 1 10 min. 12 min. 10-15 min.
Left and right side of the herniated disc 1 7 min. 10 min. 5 min.
Below and above the herniated disc 1 7 min. 10 min. 5 min.

It is recommended to perform the treatment every day before going to sleep and after waking up. If you have two devices it will take just 30 minutes before sleep and 30 minutes after you get up. It is advisable not to neglect treatment in the region of your liver and kidneys. This treatment will help to improve your overall state of health, the working efficiency and the general condition of the back muscles.*

A herniated disc in the cervical spine requires shorter but more frequent treatment. This is due to the fact that the neck muscles are more active and more receptive to micro-vibrations, and also due to the proximity of the brain.

Method for compensating the deficit of micro-vibrations if a herniated disc is located in the cervical  section of the spine.

Area of application Mode 5 times a day during the first week 4 times a day during 2-12 week 2-3 times a day after 12 week
Kidneys 2 20 min. 25 min. 35-40 min.
Liver 1 10 min. 12 min. 10-15 min.
Left and right side of the herniated disc 1 5 min. 6 min. 7 min.
Below and above the herniated disc 1 5 min. 6 min. 5 min.

It is very important to find time to perform 4 treatments in the area of the cervical spine. For those who do not have to go to work this is not a big problem, but for those who do we recommend the following treatment schedule: when you arrive home after work, before going to bed, after the first 5-6 hours of sleep and again 2 hours later before leaving for work.

Common mistakes:

  • One treatment per day – this is not enough, even if the treatment lasts for a long time. Two treatments per day are a must, even if they are shorter in duration. Treatment is performed at home which makes things easier.
  • Treatment is not performed regularly and there are some one day intervals due to working schedules or business trips. Treatment should not be missed during the first half of the year.
  • The area of the kidneys is not treated. Even if you do not to perform the procedure in the area of the liver, the kidneys are a must since they are responsible for regenerating the body and cleaning it of the products of muscle activity, providing the foundation for the protection and rehabilitation of the spine.*

Protecting the spine from external factors

  • During the first three months it is recommended to wear a special orthopaedic belt while walking and travelling, which you have to put on before you get out of bed. The belt, however, is only effective on people who do not have a large waist and a big stomach because it is supposed to help relax the spine. It is not advisable to wear the belt all the time because it can cause the back muscles to weaken.
  • Avoid running, jumping and cycling
  • Avoid lifting weights.

If the herniated disc requires surgery

Surgery must only be performed if it is medically justified in order to save the spinal cord and eliminate the compression of the nerve roots, but not to accelerate the rehabilitation process. You should keep in mind that surgery is always a risk and should only be performed if absolutely necessary. After the operation the affected area remains weak for a long time, and all the techniques and principles described above can be applied to accelerate the rehabilitation process.*

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*Please note that treatment effects are based on individual experiences. We can not guarantee the same results for all users of Fonovit therapy. In order to ensure the best patient service, we offer the possibility of unconditional return of the device within 30 days in the absence of positive treatment results.