A bulging disc can certainly interrupt your day to day life. The pain, numbness, and loss of mobility can make work difficult and sap the joy out of recreational activities. Treatment options range from conservative to aggressive, depending on the needs and response of the individual patient. Ultimately, though you should certainly educate yourself, you should let your doctor decide how to treat bulging discs.
A bulging disc occurs when the outer wall of an intervertebral disc weakens (due to injury, age, or wear and tear), allowing the interior gel-like fluid to press the wall out beyond its normal circumference. This can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and loss of mobility if the bulge makes contact with the spinal cord or a spinal nerve root.
Conservative Treatment Options
Information abounds on how to treat a bulging disc. Conservative methods of treatment are non-invasive and seek to manage pain and discomfort and provide an opportunity for the body to heal. Techniques and recommendations your doctor may offer include:
- Pain medication
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Lifestyle changes
- Application of heat and/or cold
- Physical therapy
When Conservative Treatment is not Enough
Conservative treatment is often the best way to treat a bulging disc, and most patients will eventually see encouraging results. However, some patients will not respond adequately to such treatment, or the condition is so bad that your doctor may recommend surgery to correct your bulging disc. Although open back surgery does work for many patients, it requires a lengthy hospital stay and long recovery time and creates significant scarring—and, additionally, has a failure rate that cannot be ignored.
If your doctor believes it is appropriate to consider surgical options, consider contacting Laser Spine Institute (LSI). Our expert team of highly-trained spine surgeons knows how to treat bulging discs and many other spine conditions. We use revolutionary, laser-assisted endoscopic procedures to treat bulging discs in the least-invasive manner possible. These outpatient procedures may be exactly what you need to manage the pain and discomfort of a bulging disc without the added risk, inconvenience, and scarring involved with traditional open back surgery. For more information or to schedule a free review of your CT scan or MRI, contact Laser Spine Institute today.