Non-Surgical Ways For Bulging Disc Treatment

Introduction

Bulging disc is a common condition, particularly in older adults, wherein age-related wear and tear is the main reason. This condition involves a spinal disc ceasing its original shape & expanding, placing undue pressure on a surrounding nerve root, resulting in back or neck pain. Today, we discuss the difference between a bulging disc and herniated disc, bulging disc symptoms, causes of a bulging disc and non-surgical treatments for bulging disc.

What’s the Difference between Bulging Disc & Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc is basically the latter stage of a bulging disc condition. When left untreated, a bulging disc is likely to progress into a herniated disc which is a more severe form of spinal disorder. As per the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the only way to obtain an accurate diagnosis of a bulging/herniated disc is via the symptoms an individual is experiencing, his/her medical history, physical examination, or a diagnostic test.

What are the symptoms of a bulging disc?

With there being an endless number of reasons for back pain, diagnosing a bulging disc as the reason behind it is quite difficult unless an imaging test is conducted straightaway. Moreover, different individuals might experience symptoms of a bulging disc differently. Having said that, the following are the common symptoms of a bulging disc:

  • Back pain (especially in the upper back region)
  • Pain arising in the upper back area, radiating to the chest/stomach
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Burning sensation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Weakness
  • Walking issues

Causes of a Bulging Disc

The common causes of a bulging disc are:

  • Degenerative disc disease leading to spinal osteoarthritis
  • Back injury or strain
  • Improper posture
  • Obesity
  • Inactivity
  • Smoking

Non-Surgical Treatment for Bulging Disc

Depending on the severe nature of the bulging disc and the accompanying symptoms, different non-surgical treatment options can provide temporary or long-term pain relief. Following are the non-surgical treatment alternatives for bulging disc:

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression

Physical Therapy

Doctors may prescribe physical therapy comprising exercises, massage, etc. to help boost mobility & range of motion, in addition to enhancing the strength of the back muscles. A qualified physical therapist can suggest the best & suitable exercises for you as per your condition to help reduce back pain by alleviating pressure on the nerve.

Heat or Cold Therapy

In mild cases of bulging disc, ice packs and heating pads can help relieve pain & inflammation, helping manage the condition in a conservative manner.

Conclusion

An early diagnosis and subsequent treatment for a bulging disc is key to avoiding it progressing into a herniated disc. If you are experiencing the above-mentioned symptoms of a bulging disc, then book an appointment with our spine experts at your nearest ANSSI Wellness Centre:

Yes, in many cases, the bulging disc symptoms go away after a period of time.

MRI is the best diagnostic test to detect herniated & bulging discs.

Massage can provide short-term relief from chronic back pain caused by a bulging disc.

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