A bulging disc or herniated disc is a condition where the nucleus of the spinal disc comes outside the outer layer (annulus). The spinal discs sit between vertebrae and cushion the spinal bones from shock and damage. They have two main parts, the nucleus (inner layer), and the annulus (outer layer). When a spinal disc becomes herniated, it will press on the spinal nerves and this causes pain.
A herniated disc can occur anywhere along the spine. However, they commonly occur on the cervical spine (in the neck) and the lumbar spine (lower part of your back). You should seek treatment as soon as you experience pain in your spinal area to avoid severe pain or further complications.
How Do Doctors Diagnose a Bulging Disc?
1. Physical Exam, Neurological Exam, and Medical History
The doctors will conduct a physical exam to diagnose a bulging disc condition. They may ask you to lie down and move your body in different positions to assess your pain. You will also get a neurological exam and the doctor checks your:
- Walking ability
- Muscle strength
- Ability to feel vibration, pinpricks, or light touches
The doctor will also look at your medical history to check if any underlying conditions would have caused the bulging disc.
2. Imaging Tests
Doctors could also recommend imaging tests to see the situation of the bulging disk, spinal bones, and other organs. Imaging tests include:
- CT scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
3. Nerve Tests
The doctors also test your muscle and nerve response using nerve conduction studies and electromyograms.
What Is the Treatment for Bulging Discs?
Treatment for bulging discs can either be surgical or non-surgical. You should try to get non-surgical treatment first unless your doctor advises otherwise. Non-surgical treatments are safer than surgical ones.
1. Non-surgical Treatments
Non-surgical treatments are conservative and non-invasive approaches to treating bulging discs. Some forms of non-surgical bulging disc treatment include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Physical therapy
- Hot and cold therapy
- Electrical muscle stimulation
- Pain medications
Doctors will recommend surgery if the pain persists. They will consider various factors like your age, overall health, and more. You are a good candidate for surgery if:
- Difficulty standing or walking
- Physical therapy and medication fail
- Loss of normal function
- You have good health
- Pain impairs your normal life
- Progressive neurological deficits like numbness or leg weakness
Some of the surgeries for treating bulging discs include cervical and lumbar spine surgery.
Do You Need Bulging Disc Treatment in Coconut Creek, Deerfield, Boca Raton, and Pompano?
You can get bulging disc treatment from a chiropractor at Chiro Fitness Chiropractic Physicians in Coconut Creek, Deerfield, Boca Raton, and Pompano. We help patients overcome neck pain, back pain, headaches, muscle tightness and tension, and other unique needs.
You can contact us at (954)571-7088 to schedule an appointment.