Bulging Disc Treatment
When you need bulging disc treatment, it’s comforting to know the experienced team at Comprehensive Medical Care will take care of you. Our medical team includes specialists in orthopedic surgery, interventional pain management, regenerative medicine, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and more. We apply a comprehensive approach to your care that focuses on surgical and non-surgical solutions to provide maximum results. Experiencing back pain and looking to have it properly diagnosed and treated, give our team a call today!
What Is a Bulging Disc? Who’s Most at Risk for Bulging Discs?
The human spine is made up of vertebrae, which all have discs in between them acting as shock absorbers to prevent damage and promote movement. These discs are like a jelly donut. If a donut is compressed, the jelly squeezes out the side of the donut. If a disc is compressed or injured, it can bulge toward the spine or spinal nerves and cause pain. Anyone may develop a bulging disc injury at any time. However, this type of injury is most commonly seen in senior citizens and anyone who regularly engages in strenuous physical activity, including laborers and athletes. A bulging disc is not the same thing as a herniated disc, although the two are closely related. A bulging disc typically only affects the outer layer in a spinal disc, while a herniated disc involves both the outer and inner layers.
What Usually Causes a Bulging Disc Injury?
Some wear-and-tear on your spinal disc cartilage is common as you age. Some individuals are even more genetically predispositioned than others to develop this condition. However, a bulging disc injury is usually caused by either the accumulation of microtrauma on your spinal discs over time or by sudden trauma. Remember when your mother told you not to slouch as a kid? Poor posture has cumulative effects on your spine, including putting painful pressure on your spinal joints, nerves, and discs. This repetitive microtrauma may eventually lead to overstretching and displacement of your spinal discs. The second leading cause – a sudden trauma – may happen during a car accident or by following incorrect lifting procedures in the workplace. The unexpected force on your spine upon impact in an accident can result in a bulging disc injury, as can the strain of using poor lifting techniques. Individuals who lead a sedentary lifestyle or who smoke may also be more at risk for developing a bulging disc.
What Are the Symptoms of a Bulging Disc?
A bulging disc can start as stiffness or achiness in the back of the neck or can be more severe pain. This can include pain radiating down the back of the neck toward a limb. The limb is dependent primarily on the location within the spine the disc is bulging. You may experience back pain when lifting, bending, coughing or sneezing, or even sitting for extended periods. Some patients may also experience changes in their bladder and bowel functions.
What happens if a bulging disc goes untreated?
A bulging disc can be serious and can be progressive in nature, worsening over time. If a disc is left untreated, it can progress into an annular tear and eventually a herniation. It is possible a disc may heal on its own; however making sure the bulge is the cause of the pain should always be a priority. This is why it is important to seek medical treatment and proper diagnosis at the onset of pain, irritation, or limitation in your daily life. Our team at Comprehensive Medical Care can help diagnose and treat your spinal conditions. Contact our team today.
How Our Medical Team Diagnoses and Treats a Bulging Disc
A bulging disc injury is diagnosed through clinical testing, which may include an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography) scan. Regular X-rays may be useful in diagnosing chronic degenerative disc disease, but they don’t usually indicate acute bulging discs. If a bulging disc is determined to be the cause of your pain, treatment for a bulging disc will usually begin with a non-invasive approach. This will include physical therapy strengthening programs and chiropractic care. In rare cases, interventional treatment such as injections can be done. We may also recommend altering your posture or sleeping positions and losing weight, and home exercises to restore your range of motion and normal joint alignment.
We or loss may also suggest soft tissue massage, wearing a temporary back brace or foot orthotics, or taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen to help manage the pain. A bulging disc injury may take six weeks or longer to heal. Severe muscle weakness of bladder or bowel function should be addressed immediately. In some cases, spinal disc surgery may be necessary for recovery. In addition to bulging disc treatment, Comprehensive Medical Care also provides treatment for herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and various other disc disorders.
Schedule a Free Consultation at Comprehensive Medical Care
If you have a bulging disc, don’t waste time at multiple doctor’s offices for diagnosis and treatment. Contact Comprehensive Medical Care to request a free consultation at one of our New Jersey locations. We accept auto insurance and workers’ compensation, as well as many of the leading insurance providers, including Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, and Medicare. As a courtesy to our patients, we will verify all benefits prior to your appointment. If you’re a new patient, you may also want to browse our reviews to see what kind of exceptional care you can expect with us!