Bulging disc problems are a common source of back pain in the United States and can be very disruptive to your lifestyle. Ask anyone who has had one and they will tell you how awful it is.

Time off of work, being confined to their bed or sofa, having to take anti-inflammatory or pain medication and simply not being able to do the things that they normally would do are just some of the effects of having a bulging disc. 


What Is A Bulging Disc?

The bones in your spine are cushioned by multiple small discs which run along your vertebrae. These discs are often compared to a jelly donut, because they too are filled with a gel-like substance.

When a significant amount of pressure is placed on the disc, or if the disc has degenerated from age, injury or other factors, it starts to bulge.

Typically, the bulge comes into contact with surrounding tissues or nerves and it begins causing problems.


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 weakness, rupturing or tearing. 


Symptoms Of A Bulging Disc


Symptoms of a bulging disc can vary depending on the person and location of the effected disc. Typically, if you have a bulging disc, you can expect to experience one or more of the following: 

    • pain and numbness, most commonly on one side of the body
    • pain that extends to your arms or legs
    • pain that worsens at night or with certain movements
    • pain and stiffness that worsens after standing or sitting
    • pain when walking short distances


How Is A Bulging Disc Diagnosed?


Because the vertebral disc is comprised of tissue, an X-ray does not usually have favorable results. You may be able to see that there is a bulge, but often doctors want to see the details of the bulge.

So doctors prefer to do a CT scan or MRI. An MRI is the preferred test because it provides detailed views of a bulging disc and nerves that may be compressed or impinged. Once diagnosis is confirmed, treatment may begin.


Non-Surgical Treatment Options


Typically, pain from a disc bulge can be relieved with anti-inflammatory medications, 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.


How Non-Surgical 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.

You Might Also Enjoy…