Bulging disc treatment methods

A bulging disc can seriously disrupt your life. The symptoms caused by this condition can make work difficult and take you away from family time, exercise or hobbies like gardening or golfing. Treatment options usually begin with more conservative methods, but surgery can also become necessary depending on the situation. It can be very beneficial to learn as much as you can about the full range of treatments available to you so you can have the best chance of finding lasting pain relief and a return to your normal lifestyle.

A bulging disc occurs when the tough outer wall of a spinal disc weakens, usually due to natural aging or an injury pushing the disc outside of its normal boundary and into the spinal canal, thereby compressing a nerve root. This can cause pain, tingling, numbness, weakness and a loss of mobility if the bulge compresses the spinal cord or an exiting nerve root. To learn about the conservative and surgical treatments available to relieve a bulging disc, read the following article.

Conservative treatment options for a bulging disc

If you have been diagnosed with a bulging disc, your doctor should first recommend an approach consisting of nonsurgical treatments. For many patients, these treatments are able to effectively relieve symptoms and bring a return to regular activity. Techniques and recommendations your doctor may prescribe include:

  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • A diet and exercise plan
  • Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption
  • Chiropractic manipulation
  • Application of hot and cold compresses
  • Physical therapy

Surgical treatment options for a bulging disc

While the above options are proven to be effective, you may be in a situation where several weeks and months of conservative treatment has not brought acceptable pain relief. At this point, you and your doctor may begin to discuss whether surgery may be the best option for you. Although traditional open back surgery does work to relieve symptoms of bulging discs for many patients, there are downsides, such as the use of a large 6- to 8-inch incision, a two- to five-day hospital stay and a long rehabilitation between six months to a year.

If you are concerned about some of the risks associated with traditional open spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about our minimally invasive spine surgery options. Our board-certified+ surgeons treat bulging discs with both minimally invasive decompression and stabilization surgeries.

We have helped thousands of patients find lasting relief from their chronic neck or back pain, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. We utilize small incisions that are muscle sparing to relieve symptoms of bulging discs and dramatically reduce recovery time and risks of complication.^ To find out if we can help you get your life back with these outpatient procedures, reach out to us today. Through a free MRI review,* we can determine if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive bulging disc surgery.