Bulging disc is often thought of as a normal part of the aging process. It causes pain and decreases mobility. Athletes and people who have jobs that are very physical are often prone to bulging discs and other disc problems. Smoking tobacco can also be a contributing factor in spinal discs deteriorating and weakening. Chiropractic has been proven to be an effective treatment for bulging disc and the associated pain.
What is a bulging disc?
Bulging discs are often thought to be the same as herniated discs but that is incorrect. A herniated disc involves a crack in the disc’s outer layer. This is called an annulus. Typically, a small part of the disc is affected, allowing the soft material that makes up the nucleus pulposus to protrude. This is different from a bulging disc because, unlike a herniated disc, there is no crack. The disc bulges out of the space but it doesn’t crack and no material protrudes. It also affects more area of the disc than a herniated disc.
While a herniated disc is likely more painful, a bulging disc can also cause pain that can increase over time. Symptoms of a bulging disc include:
- Tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in one or both legs
- Changes in bowel or bladder function
- Hyper reflexivity in one or both legs
- Paralysis below the waist
- Deep pain over the shoulder blade or in the shoulder area
- Pain when moving the neck
- Radiating pain in the fingers, forearm, and upper arm
A bulging disc is often diagnosed by a combination of several methods. A physical exam, along with a full history of the problem will often lead to tests like MRI, x-ray, and myelogram with CT scan. From there, your doctor will work with you to find the best course of treatment.
Chiropractic for Bulging Disc
Chiropractic is a preferred treatment method for many patients with bulging disc because it is non-invasive and does not involve drugs or injections. Once you have your diagnosis, you and your chiropractor can work together to find the best way to treat your condition.
Your chiropractor will want to verify your diagnosis so you may go through questions about your medical history, a physical examination, and tests that involve nerve function, reflexes, and muscle tone. Your chiropractor may also order MRI or x-ray as well as other diagnostic testing in order to get a better picture of what is going on.
One of the most popular features of chiropractic care is the whole body approach to wellness. Your chiropractor will look at your entire spine, not just the area that is painful. They will treat your entire spine and provide self-care direction, exercise, and nutritional recommendations so that you can continue to progress and live pain free. Your pain and spinal problems could be the result of spinal misalignment so your chiropractor will seek to get to the root of the problem and treat your entire spine so that you have less pain, your spine can heal, and you have better mobility.
Through focused chiropractic adjustments, your chiropractor will gently use low force techniques to relieve the painful symptoms by manipulating your spine around and at the disc that is bulging. They may use other types of treatments depending on your specific condition and other issues that may be exacerbating your problem.
Chiropractic for bulging discs is safe, effective, and long lasting. If you are having back pain from a bulging disc, you owe it to yourself to seek quality chiropractic care so that you can enjoy less pain, improved mobility, and better quality of life.