Bulging or protruding discs often cause persistent, nagging pain in the neck or back. This is an issue that can develop as the result of a jarring impact event, heavy lifting, repetitive motion activities, or slip and fall accidents.
There are even certain lifestyle and health factors that put a person at elevated risk of these injuries. Among these are obesity and age-related disc degeneration. The good news is that you can obtain rapid, lasting, and all-natural pain relief by working with a chiropractor. Best of all, chiropractors can both identify the underlying cause of this issue and facilitate changes that prevent it from recurring.
When you think of going to a chiropractor, you likely imagine a professional who will make swift, targeted adjustments to your spine. This is a common misconception and an over-simplification of what chiropractic therapy actually is. Thus, if you’re scared of having someone touch an area of your spine that’s already inflamed and tender, you don’t have to worry. When disc protrusions exist, chiropractors can use a number of non-invasive therapies to gently finesse these structures back in place.
More often than not, patients are given individualized and multi-pronged plans for gradually, progressively increasing their wellness over time. As such, you can look forward to a treatment that’s comfortable, effective, and capable of producing noticeable improvements with every visit.
What a Bulging Disc Is and How a Chiropractor Can Help
With age, a person’s discs gradually become drier and lose flexibility. Anyone can develop a protruding disc even if they don’t lead an active lifestyle or work a physically demanding job. Sometimes disc protrusion exists without causing any symptoms or discomfort at all. Other times, a bulging disc may directly connect with a nerve to cause radiating pains and feelings of numbness or tingling.
Even mild but persistent pain in your neck or back can be a symptom of a bulging disc. With a bulging disc, degenerative changes, impact events, or injuries have caused a disc to migrate from its position between two vertebrae.
The discomfort that this migration cause is often due to pressure that the disc places on nearby structures. In addition to persistent neck or back pain, common symptoms of a bulging disc also include:
- Weakness in the surrounding area
- Decreases in mobility
- Sharp, shooting pains when certain actions are performed
Bulging discs are more than minor annoyances. If left unchecked and allowed to progress, they can lead to a far more painful condition known as disc herniation. With disc herniation, nucleus material within a disc breaks out and enters the spinal canal. When treating disc protrusion, chiropractors always start by identifying its cause. Common remedies include:
- Using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and inflammation
- Getting plenty of bed rest
- Taking part in physical therapy to strengthen the core muscles
However, if disc protrusion is weight-related, implementing a targeted, manageable weight loss plan could be key for ensuring that the problem doesn’t recur. If it is age-related, certain forms of supplementation may be able to slow or even reverse bone degeneration in certain instances. For some aging adults, starting an exercise routine that includes weight-bearing activities can be a highly effective way to stave off additional bone density losses and other adverse bone changes.
Correcting spinal alignment is also a focus of care. When the manual or computer-assisted adjustments are both possible and comfortable, these can be used to correct the alignment of the spine. When they are not, chiropractors can use inversion or massage therapy to achieve the same or similar results. These services can also be paired with acupuncture or acupressure, or with hot and cold therapy to further facilitate relief. Strength-building exercises that target the core muscle group prevent injuries like these from recurring.
When the core or abdominal muscles are sufficiently strong, the spine is better supported and disc migration is less likely to occur. Stretching exercises may be recommended as well for alleviating tension and stress in any muscles or muscle groups that have been overcompensating due to disc protrusion.
When you work with a chiropractor, getting relief for disc protrusion is easy. Top chiropractors have multiple ways to reduce the discomfort that this issue causes. They also have a number of effective strategies for preventing new protrusions, and for helping their clients achieve and maintain optimum spinal health overall. If you’re looking for natural and lasting pain relief, we can help. Call us today at 205-637-1363 to schedule a consultation appointment.