Bulging Disc – Conservative Treatment

Have You Been Diagnosed with a Bulging Disc?

As you begin to research treatments for a bulging disc, you should consult your physician or spine care specialist to help you find the treatment option that fits your needs. There are two main categories of treatment options for a bulging disc: conservative treatment and surgical treatment. Many patients with mild to moderate cases of a bulging disc can often find relief from pain and symptoms through a regimen of conservative treatment. Unless your bulging disc is caused by an injury or accident, your physician will likely recommend several months of conservative therapy before moving forward with any other treatment options.

Conservative Treatment Options

Conservative treatment is a safe and effective way to treat the symptoms associated with a bulging disc. Since a bulging disc is caused by spine compression, the goal of many conservative therapies is to lengthen the spine to create the appropriate amount of space between the disc and surrounding vertebrae, and also to strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine to help relieve some of the pressure placed on the vertebrae and discs.

You can manage chronic pain through the following methods of conservative treatment:

  • Physical therapy. A physical therapist can work with you to strengthen the muscles in the neck and back. Physical therapy may also entail transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and posture modification techniques.
  • Lifestyle changes. Losing weight and participating in moderate, low-impact exercise can help to relieve some of the pressure from the spinal nerve.
  • Chiropractic care. A chiropractor can use spinal manipulation to relieve pressure on the bulging disc by lengthening and aligning the spine.

You can also combine conservative treatments with other nonsurgical treatments to help increase pain relief. Some of these other treatments include:

  • Medication. Most patients benefit from taking over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), while others may require prescription pain relievers or muscle relaxants.
  • Hot/cold compresses. Alternating between hot and cold compresses can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the spine, thus reducing pressure on the impacted nerve root. 

If several months of combined conservative treatment has not offered you any lasting pain relief, you may want to consider a surgical treatment option to treat your bulging disc at the source.

Surgery with BEST Health System

If conservative bulging disc treatment fails to provide you with adequate relief, you may want to undergo a minimally invasive procedure.

While the idea of spine surgery may seem scary, we offer a safer and effective approach to spine surgery than traditional open back surgery. Our surgeons perform minimally invasive decompression surgery through a 1-inch incision. They can remove a small portion of the bulging disc that is impacting the nerve root and causing pain. For more severe conditions, our surgeons can perform minimally invasive stabilization surgery through a small incision. This replaces the bulging disc with a disc implant to reduce pain and stabilize the spine.

At BEST Health System, it is our goal to help our patients find the most effective, least invasive treatment option. Contact us to learn more about surgery at BEST.