What is a Bulging Disc
Several factors play a role in the development of a bulging disc. The spine’s deterioration during the natural aging process is at the top of said list. The spine endures a great deal of daily wear and tear. Spinal discs serve as natural shock absorbers and are subjected to more than their share of abuse. This can cause a normally elastic disc to lose water content and become brittle, making a bulge or rupture more likely. Painful symptoms that require treatment can develop if a bulging disc compresses a nerve root or the spinal cord. If the affected disc is in the cervical spine (neck area) symptoms can appear in the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands. If you have a bulging disc in your lumbar spine (lower back area), you may feel discomfort in your lower back, hips, buttocks, legs, and feet.
Conservative Treatment Options
Once the spine becomes more vulnerable to damage, there are additional risk factors that can speed up the development of a disc bulge. Being overweight is one. This can increase the amount of pressure that the spinal discs have to endure on a daily basis. For this reason, shedding excess pounds is one of the most important lifestyle modifications you can make. If you want to successfully reduce your bulging disc symptoms, you will need to decrease the strain on the spine. Thus lessening the nerve compression – while simultaneously building muscles that are designed to support the spine. Exercising, following a healthy diet, eliminating tobacco and alcohol use, and better posture are options that you may need to consider which can alleviate bulging disc symptoms. You may also want to consider trying other conservative treatments such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications, epidural steroid injections, and hot and cold compresses.
When Conservative Treatment is Not Enough
In many cases, losing weight, building muscle tone, and following a conservative treatment regimen for several months will produce the desired levels of pain relief from a bulging disc. However, if your symptoms don’t show the level of improvement you hoped for, BEST Health System can help determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgeries, which are safer and more effective alternatives to open spine procedures.
Contact us today if you would like to learn more about our minimally invasive approach to bulging disc treatment.