Bulging Disc – Can You Go Running

What is a Bulging Disc

A bulging disc is a fairly common form of spinal degeneration. It can occur when a spinal disc is put under pressure and its inner gel-like contents push against the outer wall until a bulge develops. This condition is most common in the lower back (lumbar spine), particularly in the L4-L5 area. This is because this portion of the spine that supports the most body weight and endures the most daily wear and tear. Bulging discs are most commonly diagnosed in individuals over the age of 50. As the body’s natural aging process can cause spinal discs to lose elasticity and become fragile. 

Many bulging discs are asymptomatic, though they can cause pain, muscle weakness, numbness, and tingling if the disc bulge results in nerve compression. 

Exercises to Avoid When You’re Experiencing Lower Back Pain

If you’ve been diagnosed with a bulging disc in your lower back, your physician will likely recommend that you avoid high-impact activities. Such as running, jumping, and participating in contact sports like football and hockey. The stress that these activities cause could potentially turn a small disc bulge into a larger one or even cause the affected disc to rupture. Swimming, biking, walking, and using elliptical machines are excellent alternatives. They can provide the exercise your body needs without subjecting your spine to further injury. 

Treating For a Bulging Disc

While a disc bulge can be repaired without surgery, there are a variety of non-surgical options that can help reduce the strain on the spine. They can also potentially provide the type of symptom relief you are looking for. Some possibilities for bulging disc symptom relief include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Losing excess weight
  • Chiropractic care
  • Alternating hot and cold compresses

What BEST Health System Can Do 

While many individuals will be able to find the level of bulging disc symptom relief they are looking for through nonsurgical treatments and their symptoms may worsen over time. In these cases, surgery becomes a consideration. 

If you are experiencing lower back pain that is affecting your day-to-day life, BEST Health System can help. Contact us today to learn more about our outpatient procedures. You can also schedule an appointment to see if you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery to treat a bulging disc.