Bulging disc problems are a common source of back pain in the United States and can be very disruptive to your lifestyle. Sometimes this type of back pain can be relieved by moderate exercise and changes to your lifestyle. But when the bulge grows to a point where these changes are no longer effective, alternative treatments need to be used. So what is the best way to treat bulging disc pain? Traditionally, doctors have gone to corticosteroid injections, but these don’t fix the existing medical problem and provide only temporary relief. The next step for a lot of doctors is surgery, but non-surgical spinal decompression is another alternative that is proving to be much more successful at treating bulging discs.
Did you know the bones in your spine are cushioned by multiple small discs which run along your vertebrae? These discs have often been compared to a jelly donut, because they too are filled with a gel-like substance. When one of these discs becomes damaged, it may eventually start to bulge. When the disc actually ruptures it is referred to as a herniated disc, which is its commonly used medical term.
What Causes It?
Disc bulges are usually caused by age-related disc degeneration. But they can also be caused by doing a lot of heavy lifting, incorrect lifting, twisting or strenuous movements. You are particularly at risk of disc bulges if your job or lifestyle involves strenuous activity. As you begin to age, your spinal discs can lose some of their water content, in turn resulting in a loss of flexibility and an increased susceptibility to rupturing or tearing.
Symptoms and Identification
Symptoms of a bulging disc can vary depending on the person and location of the problem. Typically, if you have a bulging disc, you can expect to experience sharp pain in your lower back, pain and numbness in your buttocks and legs, and even numbness or tingling in your hands and feet. If you suspect you have a bulging disc, you must first consult with your doctor so he or she can properly identify the problem, be it a bulging disc or just a pinched nerve. An X-Ray can give the doctor an indication that you have a bulging disc, but it really needs to be identified by an MRI scan.
How Spinal Decompression can Help
Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy is a fast and effective method of treating bulging discs. It uses motorized traction to relieve tension and stretch out the spine. The force and position of the spine is gently modified, taking away some of the pressure and gradually allowing the bulging or herniated discs to retract. This usually happens during a course of around five to seven weeks, in which time the treatment will also help to improve the flow of water, oxygen and nutrients into the discs, effectively healing them.
Spinal decompression is a relatively easy procedure that you can experience fully clothed. You doctor will fit you with harnesses around your pelvis and trunk area, before you are asked to lie either face up or face down on a computerized table that is controlled by your doctor. The treatment will be modified to suit your therapy requirements. A typical treatment can last anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes. You may need up to 28 treatments before you experience the maximum benefits depending on your case and level of pain.
Are you a Suitable Candidate?
Spinal decompression therapy is not suitable for everyone. You will not be suitable if you are pregnant, suffering from a tumor or fracture, have advanced osteoporosis, an abdominal aortic aneurysm, or metal spinal implants. You will also not be suitable if you are under the age of 18.
If you do not have any of these conditions, it is worth looking into this alternative. Non-surgical spinal decompression allows you to repair the disc and avoid all of the risks of surgery – infection, adverse reactions to anesthesia, blood clots, lengthy recovery, and time off of work.
As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition.