How is a bulging disc treated?

Many patients who have been diagnosed with a bulging disc wonder about the treatment options available for this condition — specifically whether conservative therapy or spine surgery is best suited toward easing their chronic pain. In a large number of cases, symptoms can be improved through nonsurgical means. However, if basic treatments prove ineffective after several weeks or months, spine surgery can become an option. For an overview of both nonsurgical and surgical bulging disc treatments, read the following article.

Nonsurgical bulging disc treatments

Initially, treatment for bulging discs focuses on managing symptoms and restoring range of motion, as opposed to addressing the bulging disc itself. Common symptoms of this condition in the cervical spine include pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness in the upper or lower extremities. Bulging discs that occur in the thoracic spine can cause pain in the middle back, which can possibly radiate to the chest or stomach while bulging discs in the lumbar spine can cause symptoms in the lower back, hips, buttocks, legs and feet.

Nonsurgical bulging disc treatments may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Limited periods of rest
  • Light to moderate exercise
  • Lifestyle changes, such as weight management

Surgical bulging disc treatments

If conservative treatments have been exhausted without enough improvement for a patient to comfortably engage in everyday activity, surgery may become the next option. Traditional open spine surgery typically requires overnight hospitalization and involves a large muscle-disrupting incision that can cause significant scarring and a high risk of complication.

Patients may be a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, which is a safer and effective alternative to traditional procedures.^ Our outpatient procedures are performed using muscle-sparing techniques, with a less than 1-inch incision, to reduce the risk of complications.

Laser Spine Institute

The board-certified surgeons+ at Laser Spine Institute are some of the leaders in minimally invasive spine surgery. To date, we’ve helped more than 75,000 patients find relief in our state-of-the-art outpatient facilities located across the United States.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today for a no-cost MRI review* to find out if minimally invasive spine surgery is the right treatment method for you.

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