Tips on how to treat a bulging disc
There are several options you can explore to treat pain and discomfort related to a bulging disc. Although this condition does not necessarily result in symptoms, bulging disc material can cause nerve compression and pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness.
A bulging disc occurs when the fibrous outer layer of a spinal disc weakens and compresses, often related to loss of elasticity due to the aging process. The resulting bulge pushes into the spinal canal and can, in some cases, impinge a nerve root or the spinal cord.
What to do if you’re experiencing bulging disc pain
If you’ve been diagnosed with a bulging disc, stay in close partnership with your doctor and follow the treatment recommendations he or she has given you. The following forms of treatment are some of the most commonly suggested and have helped many patients dealing with a bulging disc find lasting relief for this condition.
- Rest. Be sure to adequately rest your neck and back to prevent further inflammation and damage. Refrain from sitting or standing too long and avoid lifting heavy objects or moving your body incorrectly.
- Cold pack therapy. Applying an ice pack to the affected area several times a day, 10 to 20 minutes at a time, may help reduce nerve and muscle inflammation, muscle spasms and swelling.
- Medications. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines may help relieve bulging disc symptoms. Other remedies may include prescribed muscle relaxants or steroid injections for severe pain.
- See a chiropractor. A chiropractor manipulates and adjusts the vertebrae of the spine and may be able to relieve pressure on a compressed nerve caused by a bulging disc.
- Electric therapy. A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS unit, can be used to stimulate nerves with controllable amounts of electrical current directed through the skin via two or more electrodes.
- Physical therapy. A therapist can show you the proper strength exercises and activities that may help reduce your bulging disc pain. Walking, practicing meditation and doing yoga are other possible pain-reducing treatments, but make sure to consult with your doctor before attempting any new exercise programs.
Exploring your options
If you are still experiencing chronic neck and back pain after attempting conservative treatments for weeks or months, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery, offering our patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery time.^
Our caring and dedicated team will be glad to help you receive a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.