Most people will deal with back pain at some point in their lives. There are several different types of back pain, some more severe than others. If you’re suffering from back pain, you may wonder, “Can a chiropractor help a bulging disc?” The pain caused by a bulging disc can be an extremely painful medical issue and one you shouldn’t take lightly. In this article, we’ll discuss what a bulging disc is and effective chiropractic treatments that can assist in the healing process.
What is a Bulging Disc?
The discs in your back are made of two components: a soft center surrounded by an outer layer of tough cartilage that’s shaped to fit right between your vertebrae. Picture a jelly doughnut if you will. Discs act as cushions between the vertebrae in your spine. Over time, your discs dehydrate and start to wear out, causing the cartilage to stiffen and lose its shape. These changes can cause the outer layer of the disc to bulge and protrude, causing pain.
Can a Chiropractor Help a Bulging Disc?
Chiropractic care is the preferred treatment method if you’re suffering from a bulging disc. Our chiropractors can help provide you with increased mobility, less pain, and an overall better quality of life. Chiropractic treatments are non-invasive and don’t require medications or injections of any kind. You will be advised to start with the most conservative treatment method first, avoiding surgery if at all possible.
Can a Chiropractor Fix a Bulging Disc?
Chiropractors offer a variety of non-invasive treatments that can help relieve the pain from a bulging disc. A chiropractor can oftentimes diagnose a bulging disc by doing a thorough physical examination and by reviewing your medical history. After examining your entire spine, they can help pinpoint what is causing stress to the strained area.
Chiropractors are known to safely use adjustment methods along with stretching of the spine to relieve your symptoms and place you on the path to healing.
Is a Bulging Disc the Same as a Herniated Disc?
A bulged disc is not the same as a herniated disc. A bulging disc refers to disc tissues extending beyond the edge of the vertebrae. A herniated disc can be more comprehensive given the numerous places and circumstances that a disc can herniate. There is typically some sort of hole or tear in the outer covering of the disc which causes the jelly-like fluid nucleus of the disc to leak into the spinal canal or surrounding areas.
Can You See a Bulging Disc on an X-Ray?
Muscles, ligaments, and tendons, which are generally the source of our back and neck pain, are not visualized well on an x-ray. Soft tissues allow for more x-ray to pass through them, leaving a dark impression without lending much clarity to the situation. Your spinal cord and spinal nerves which are neural tissues are also not viewed well on x-ray. Even though a tumor is a mass of tissue, the appearance of one may be observed on an x-ray due to its mass. Additionally, a CAT scan or MRI both can show soft tissue which means both scans are helpful in detecting your bulging disc(s).
What Exercises Should You Avoid With a Disc Bulge?
It can be difficult to know which exercises can help strengthen your back and which ones could potentially cause more damage. Certain exercises can be a problem because they place a large working load on your lower back and unnecessary stress on your disc. You’ll want to avoid exercises such as:
- Standing Hamstring Stretches
- Good Mornings
- Leg Press
- High Impact Cardio Activity
The majority of your treatments and rehabilitation goals will include an exercise program. Before trying any exercises or stretches, we highly recommend you have a thorough medical examination rather than self-diagnose and come up with your own treatment plan.
Side Effects and Symptoms of a Bulging Disc
Evidence of a bulging disc may range from a mild tingling sensation to more severe pain. In most cases, when the pain has become excruciating, the disc has nearly reached herniation. Below are a few of the common symptoms you may experience that could indicate a bulging disc:
- Pain irritated by specific activities
- Pain while sitting
- Tingling in your fingers, arms, hands, neck, or shoulders
- Difficulty holding or carrying things
- Changes in bowel or bladder function
- Back and neck spasms
- Deep pain over the shoulder blade
- Paralysis below the waist
If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, contact an experienced chiropractor right away. The sooner you can get a diagnosis and start treatments, the sooner you’ll feel relief.
Can a Chiropractor Help a Bulging Disc Conclusion
The effects of a bulging disc can take a toll on you both mentally and physically. Find the safest and most effective treatment to aid in the healing process. At Intouch Chiropractic, we have a lot of experience helping with disc injuries, and are just a phone call away. We’re professionals at diagnosing back and neck pain and helping you find the relief you are searching for. Click here to schedule an appointment and get relief from your bulging disc.