Bulging disc treatment options
Several treatment options are available for bulging disc pain. For many patients, simple conservative treatments or at-home therapies will help reduce pain and symptoms while a bulging disc is repaired naturally. For other patients, more advanced treatments may be necessary to help treat a bulging disc; these treatments often include spine surgery.
If you are seeking pain relief for a bulging disc, you should start by consulting your physician or a spine care specialist. Your doctor can help determine the best course of treatment for you based on the severity and location of your bulging disc, your overall health and your lifestyle. Often, patients are recommended to start with conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, stretching and lifestyle changes to help reduce the pressure on the bulging disc, thus reducing the pain and symptoms caused by the condition.
Targeted nonsurgical treatment for bulging discs
Many mild cases of bulging discs can be effectively treated with nonsurgical methods of treatment that target the specific damaged area of the spine. The purpose of these treatments can be one of two options: stretch the spine to reduce pressure on the damaged disc or block the nerve pathways from sending pain signals.
Some of the most common conservative treatments include:
- Ultrasound therapy
- Cortisone injections
- Topical analgesic pain patches
- Implantable opioid infusion pumps
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Physical therapy
- Yoga and stretching
Conservative treatments can often be combined to make pain relief more effective. You should always consult your doctor before beginning or changing your treatments. If you have exhausted all conservative therapies and you are still suffering from chronic pain and symptoms, this may be an indication that you need spine surgery to treat your bulging disc.
Bulging disc surgery
If conservative bulging disc treatment options and targeted pain management techniques do not help your symptoms subside after several months, surgery could become an option. Talk to your physician about the best type of surgery for your specific condition, and be sure to get second and third opinions from different spine specialists so that you can have a broad view of all the surgical options that are available to you. Surgeries will vary in their levels of invasiveness, so always know exactly what is involved in a procedure before consenting.
At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive decompression surgery and minimally invasive stabilization surgery to help treat varying degrees of bulging discs. Unlike the invasive nature of traditional open back surgery, our minimally invasive procedures are performed through a small incision and avoid the disruption of the surrounding muscles. Our patients can experience a safer and effective treatment option with lower risks and higher patient satisfaction scores (96) than patients who choose traditional open back surgery.^
For more information about our minimally invasive procedures to treat a bulging disc, please contact our spine care experts to review your MRI and determine the best course of action for your specific spine care needs.