Before Starting Bulging Disc Treatment, Learn About Your Condition

Bulging disc treatmentWhen it comes to bulging disc treatment, what works for another individual may not work for you. In fact, creating a treatment plan with your physician often involves a period of trial and error as you determine which methods are helping to relieve your discomfort and which ones aren’t. Though every person will react differently to various treatments, taking time to better understand your condition may reveal to you which bulging disc treatment methods could be most effective at mitigating your symptoms.

Aging and Bulging Discs

Bulging intervertebral discs develop for a number of reasons, but one of the most common causes is age-related degeneration. Healthy discs are pliable, help absorb shock in your spine, and provide support to adjacent vertebrae. Over time, however, discs lose water content and weaken, which can cause the pressurized inner core (nucleus pulposus) to push against the weakened outer wall (annulus fibrosus), making it expand outward past its normal boundary. Spinal stenosis, or the narrowing of nerve passageways in the spinal column, can occur when bulging disc material expands into spaces where nerve tissue resides. As a result, the spinal cord or a nerve root could be pinched or compressed, leading to symptoms of pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling in the back, neck, or extremities.

Types of Treatments

The bulging disc treatment methods that your doctor suggests will depend on the severity of your condition and symptoms, where the bulging disc is located in your spine, and your overall health. The most common therapies include:

  • Opioid pain medication
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Physical therapy, exercise, and stretching
  • Hot therapy
  • Cold therapy
  • Back or neck bracing

Oftentimes a combination of bulging disc treatment methods is more effective than trying just one method. Keep track of your symptoms throughout the duration of treatment and communicate your findings to your doctor, which will aid him or her in adjusting your treatment plan as necessary.

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