Understanding Bulging Discs
Living with a bulging disc can be inconvenient, but treatment for this condition doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are several methods you can try in the comfort of your own home to help you manage your bulging disc symptoms and get back on the move.
First, let’s review the definition of a bulging disc. The spine is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae. In between these bones are rubbery discs that cushion the vertebrae and allow bending and twisting motions. A bulging disc occurs when pressure from a degenerative condition, wear and tear or an injury causes the soft, gel-like contents of the disc to press against its outer shell, forcing the disc to “bulge” in one direction. Bulging discs may not trigger any symptoms, but if the disc irritates a nearby nerve root or the spinal cord, then disruptive pain, numbness, and muscle weakness may develop.
Treating a Bulging Disc at Home
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to completely restore the position of your bulging disc with at-home treatments, but finding relief from your symptoms and improving your mobility is quite possible. With your doctor’s guidance, give one or more of these methods a try:
- Gentle stretching exercises. Simple stretching routines can elongate and strengthen the muscles that support the spine.
- Low-impact exercise. Too much time spent lying on the couch can actually worsen symptoms and slow the recovery process.
- Alternating hot/cold therapy with heating pads and ice packs. Heat can improve blood flow around the injured area and soothe tense muscles, while cold can reduce painful inflammation.
- Over-the-counter pain medicine and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Certain medications can provide temporary relief from uncomfortable symptoms.
Lifestyle modifications like losing excess weight, quitting smoking, and eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet can also promote spinal health. They may help you overcome your bulging disc symptoms more quickly.
Treatment with BEST Health System
BEST Health System performs minimally invasive spine surgeries that are a safer and more effective alternative to traditional open spine operations. If weeks or months of conservative treatment have failed to improve your symptoms, then you may be a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures. Contact us today to learn more.