Most bulging discs are completely asymptomatic; however, if the disc bulge compresses adjacent neural tissue, symptoms result. Many have found symptom relief with yoga, massage, physical therapy, chiropractic work, low-impact exercise, heat therapy, cold therapy, and over-the-counter or prescription pain medication. If these treatments fail to mitigate symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness throughout the neck, back, and extremities, your primary care physician may suggest more invasive methods of pain management.
Alternative treatments for pain panagement
There are a variety of medical subspecialties devoted to attaining pain relief, and thus helping you return to a higher quality of life. Pain management specialists include some physiatrists, psychiatrists, physical therapists, and anesthesiologists, among others. These specialists may prescribe any of the below methods for bulging disc pain relief:
- TENS – Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a therapy that uses a handheld electric device to deliver impulses that provide pain relief by blocking or scrambling pain signals that travel to the brain.
- Pain patches – Topical patches release local anesthetics, such as lidocaine. These patches can be worn for up to 12 hours each day to relieve the pain of a bulging disc.
- Epidural Steroid Injections – As opposed to oral medication that delivers dispersed medications throughout the body, injections of steroids like cortisone offer targeted relief from inflammation in the spinal column. The effects of these injections can last for several months when a slow-release steroid is used.
- Ultrasound therapy – This is a type of heat vibration therapy that uses sound waves to reduce pain, improve circulation, and trigger the healing process.
If both conservative treatments and specialized pain management techniques fail to help you find meaningful pain relief, your physician may suggest surgery for your bulging disc. Traditionally this has meant highly invasive, open spine surgery. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive, endoscopic procedures on an outpatient basis. We have help tens of thousands of patients rediscover a productive lifestyle. Contact us to request a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan from Laser Spine Institute today.