Bulging Disc TreatmentAlbany, OR
Bulging disc treatment helps not only alleviate pain but prevents more severe spinal complications. A bulging disc refers to a condition that affects the back and neck, causing pain, weakness, and numbness in the arms and legs. Bulging discs can cause tremendous pain without treatment, affecting how a person walks and performs their normal daily activities.
At Better Pain Solutions, we offer bulging disc treatments for patients in Albany and the surrounding area. Our team can properly diagnose your condition and treat you while helping you learn to manage your symptoms and condition. To learn more about a procedure or schedule an appointment, call (541) 249-7317 today.
About Bulging Discs
The spinal cord is a cylindrical column that consists of a band of tissues, nerves, and cells. The outer layer of the spinal cord, called the vertebral column, consists of vertebrae and discs. The vertebrae are stacked one on top of the other along the spinal cord, with discs between each vertebrae. Each disc contains a hard protective shell and a gel-like substance in its interior, which acts as a cushion for the vertebrae and entire spinal cord.
A bulging disc, also called a herniated, ruptured, or protruding disc, refers to the “bulging” of one or more discs in the spinal cord. The condition typically occurs when the outer shell of the spinal disc weakens, allowing the internal substance to “bulge” out from the spinal canal or flatten out. In most cases, bulging discs occur at the bottom of the lumbar spine due to excessive pressure, weight, and undue stress.
Causes and Risk Factors of Bulging Discs
Bulging discs result primarily from a change in the gel-like substance within the discs, due to compression. This causes the discs to flat out, bulge, and leak. The most common cause of bulging discs is aging due to constant wear and tear. Bulging discs can also occur from an injury, such as a car accident, or damage to the spinal cord.
Although bulging discs are quite common and can happen to anyone, especially with age, there are certain risk factors that make one more susceptible to developing the condition. These risk factors include:
- A job that includes lifting heavy objects
- A sedentary lifestyle with limited physical activity
- Driving and sitting frequently
- Engaging in physical activity that includes repetitive motion
- Obesity or being overweight
- Smoking (may accelerate degeneration by reducing oxygen supply to the disc)
It is important to stretch properly in the mornings and throughout the day, without overstretching or putting unnecessary pressure on the discs. We may recommend certain exercises that offer relief for back pain while keeping the spinal column safe.
Signs and Symptoms of Bulging Discs
Three tell-tale signs of a bulging disc include pain while sitting, radiating pain in the leg (Sciatica), and pain aggravated by physical activity. Although these signs can occur for a variety of reasons and with various conditions, experiencing all three often indicates a problem with the spinal discs.
Additionally, bulging discs can affect other parts of the body and negatively impact a person’s physical activity, including how they move, walk, and sit. Symptoms of a bulging disc can include one or more of the following:
- Leg, arm, or hand pain, numbness, and weakness
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
Chiropractic care and non-invasive procedures can greatly reduce these symptoms, alleviate pain, and relieve discomfort. We first determine the cause of a patient’s symptoms and diagnose their condition before discussing possible treatment options.
Diagnosis and Treatment
We will likely need to order a series of imaging tests and run a few examinations to properly diagnose a bulging disc. The chiropractor will physically examine and assess the condition of the entire spine, neck, and shoulders while asking questions about pain levels to determine the location. The patient may need to lie down, move certain body parts, and stretch in particular directions to determine their reflexes, muscle strength, and ability to feel specific sensations. Imaging tests include X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, which confirm the location, size, and severity of the bulging disc.
Once we finalize the patient’s diagnosis, we can discuss their treatment options and lay down a treatment plan. Treatment typically involves a combination of chiropractic therapies and treatment methods, such as non-surgical spinal decompression and spinal manipulation, which involve using cables and pulley systems or a computerized chiropractic table. These therapies gently stretch the spine and ease the bulging disc into its natural position while eliminating nerve compression, restoring flexibility, and reducing pain. Treatment sessions typically last for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the patient’s needs. The number of sessions will be determined and discussed when creating the treatment plan, but it can always be altered during the course of treatment.
Recovery and Maintenance
Full recovery from bulging disc treatment may take three months to a year, depending on the patient’s case and their body’s response to treatment. We will recommend after-care maintenance and healthy habits to implement following each session and at the end of the patient’s treatment.
Patients can practice the following at-home care practices to relieve pain and symptoms:
- Take short walks several times a day to loosen the back
- Try over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Try stretching exercises to strengthen your back muscles
- Use a heating pad on the back to lessen stiffness – alternate between heat and ice
- Use an ice pack daily on the affected part of the back where the disc is – 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off
We may recommend certain exercises to help patients maintain a good, even posture to prevent weakening discs in the future. We also encourage patients to schedule appointments for chiropractic care any time they feel their symptoms returning or are experiencing pain in other areas of the back, neck, arms, or legs.
Schedule a Visit Today
Consultations and treatments for bulging discs are available at our office. The Better Pain Solutions team looks forward to treating you and helping you relieve pain to get back to doing what you love. Call our office at (541) 249-7317 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bulging Disc Treatment
What are the common symptoms of a bulging disc?
Symptoms of a bulging disc in the cervical area include tingling or pain in the fingers, hands, arms, neck, or shoulders. Pain in the feet, thighs, lower spine, and buttocks usually indicates an issue in the lumbar region. Bulging discs can also make it difficult to walk or induce a feeling of impairment while lifting or holding things.
What are the primary causes of a bulging disc?
The most common cause of a bulging disc is aging and disc degeneration due to wear and tear. Other common causes include living a sedentary lifestyle, improper posture, weakened back muscles, obesity, high-contact sports, and activities that place stress and strain on the spine.
Can bulging discs be prevented?
Although bulging discs are not 100% preventable, there are certain exercises and lifestyle changes that can help keep the spine healthy and strong. These exercises include regular, appropriate exercises, proper rest, and consuming anti-inflammatory foods. Incorporating these can also help prevent a bulging disc flare-up.
What are some at-home practices I can follow to relieve my pain?
Incorporating regular, basic physical activity for 20 to 30 minutes daily can greatly improve your condition and alleviate pain. Heating pads and cold compresses also work; switch them out for 20-minute intervals each. Stretching and chiropractic exercises can help you maintain pain management at home. We will recommend these based on your unique needs.
What kind of issues can a bulging disc cause?
A bulging disc can push against the spinal cord and nerve roots, leading to severe pain and problems with mobility. In severe cases, a person may need surgery. Getting treated early and learning to manage your condition can prevent further progression and ease symptoms.
When asking various people what a chiropractor does, you may get mixed responses. Chiropractic practice is defined as the analysis and instrumental manipulation of human bone structure to improve physical health and neurological function. This article will discuss what these professionals can do, how they treat their clients, and how they can help you recover…
If you ask what chiropractor practice or a chiropractor is, people may give you a wide variety of answers. Are they real doctors? Are they effective at treating what they say they can treat? Are you stuck seeing a chiropractor for life once you start seeing a chiropractor? Let's discuss the qualities of a good…
The nervous system and spine are connected in their function within the body, and chiropractic care knows this. Specifically, the brain and nervous system send signals to the rest of the body, transporting these signals through the spine. This chiropractic review discusses the relationship between these two integral functions of the human body.By learning more…
Whiplash is a common injury from a car accident, and chiropractor care is frequently recommended to help treat it. Whiplash occurs most frequently in a rear-end crash, as this force causes the head and neck to go forward and then slam backwards. This, in turn, causes damage to the muscles, ligaments and nerves of the…
A chiropractor can help you deal with joint pain that stops you from enjoying physical activities and exercise routines. Joint pain stops your mobility. It makes sports, exercises, and sometimes, even basic movements challenging. Surgery and medication are the most common treatment methods for joint pain. Chiropractic treatment is also a great solution.Chiropractic care can…