Bulging discs aren’t as severe as herniated discs. However, this condition can still be quite painful. Many people seek out non-invasive treatment options to help relieve the pain from bulging discs. Chiropractic care combined with physical therapy offer a gentle option without the risks associated with surgery.
Freedom Health Centers wants to help you get rid of your back pain and get back to living your life. Our expertly trained staff works with techniques designed to reduce pain and speed the healing process. Our techniques are gentle and risk-free. Don’t let bulging discs and other back and neck problems control your life.
The Basics on Bulging Discs
Bulging discs are spinal discs that have shifted out of position and are bulging, putting pressure on nearby nerves. This condition is usually a precursor to a herniated disc. While a herniated disc is a spinal disc that has ruptured, bulging discs have not yet ruptured. Instead, the middle gel-like material is bulging at weak points of the exterior part of the disc.
Since spinal discs act as a pad between our vertebrae, a bulging disc has the potential to be quite painful. Not only is the disc not in the correct position, but the bulging area can press on nerves causing pain and irritation. Many people may not realize they have a bulging disc until it is causing significant pain because they typically shift out of position slowly.
Like herniated discs, bulging discs usually occur in the neck or lower back. This is because these areas are the most susceptible to injury and wear and tear.
What Causes Bulging Discs?
One of the primary contributors to bulging discs is age. As we get older, our spine wears down more and more. Our spinal discs dry out and become frailer as time passes. Other factors including a sedentary lifestyle and being overweight also contribute to the deterioration. When our muscles weaken and we gain more weight, our backs can no longer adequately support our bodies. This is why it is so important to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle with a good diet. By keeping our muscles strong and staying at a reasonable weight we limit the amount of stress placed on our spine.
It’s also important to be mindful of how we hold ourselves throughout the day. Slouching and other examples of bad posture can greatly increase your chance for injury. It’s important to lift heavy items carefully. It’s also important that you don’t stay in one position for too long. Take breaks and get up to stretch and move to relieve your stiff muscles. Remember that bulging discs happen gradually. Don’t allow your situation to worsen due to bad posture while performing regular daily activities.
Symptoms of Bulging Discs
The symptoms of bulging discs vary greatly depending on the severity of the condition and the location. Some people don’t experience any pain. However, if the bulging disc is compressing neighboring nerves then you may experience a great deal of pain. Other symptoms also include numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. These symptoms aren’t limited to the location of the injury. They can impact any part of your body. For example, a bulging disc in your neck may give you a headache or cause pain in your shoulder or arm. Most people report experiencing symptoms on just one side of their body.
The pain can also intensify over time. If you don’t seek treatment for your bulging disc then the disc could worsen and herniate. Some patients with severe cases also report muscle spasms, difficulty moving, and pain radiating through an arm, leg, or another part of the body. In dire cases you may experience a loss of bowel or bladder function. If this is the case you need emergency medical assistance immediately.
Diagnosing Bulging Discs
If you find yourself experiencing the symptoms of a bulging disc then set up an appointment with your chiropractor. They will be able to evaluate your condition using x-rays and an MRI to rule out any other conditions. They will also use these images to view your spine and the spinal discs to check the severity of the issue.
Treating Bulging Discs
Once your chiropractor has diagnosed your condition, you can create a treatment plan. It’s likely that your doctor will recommend spinal adjustments to help relieve the pressure on your nerve. They may also recommend physical therapy. Physical therapy allows you to strengthen the muscles in your abdomen and your back. The combination of these two treatment options helps your body heal more quickly. This style of treatment also helps strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine so it has to endure less stress.
Another great aspect of this treatment approach is that it is minimally-invasive. You don’t have to worry about side effects from medications or long surgical recovery times. In fact, most people prefer to exhaust all non-surgical options prior to going under the knife. Those who undergo chiropractic care and physical therapy often are recovered or experiencing significantly less pain in about six weeks.
It’s important that you don’t delay seeking treatment if you believe there’s a problem with your spine. If left untreated then you may experience permanent nerve damage and muscle limitations. Reach out to your chiropractor today for an appointment.