Disc Bulge

Disc Bulge or Disc Injury : Your Treatment Options


A spinal disc injury is referred to by several names, including disc herniation, pinched nerve, bulging disc, disc prolapse, ruptured disc, and slipping disc. If you have a spinal disc injury, you most likely have searing, burning, shooting, electrical, or agonising pain, as well as numbness, tingling, and muscular weakness. Other symptoms of a disc injury include irregular posture (also known as antalgic posture), changed gait or walking pattern, limited mobility, and widespread stiffness.


If the disc disease is serious enough, it can induce nerve root entrapment in any part of the spine. Nerve root entrapment occurs when a disc bulge, herniation or prolapse directly compresses on a nerve that is nearby. These sorts of issues most typically arise in the lower neck and lower back region, resulting in referred nerve discomfort.


The primary function of the intervertebral disc is to act as a "shock absorber" for stresses applied to the body and spine. Each disc, gives the spine freedom and flexibility to bend. Except for the top two bones in the neck, there are a total of 23 discs that divide each vertebrae in the spinal column.


Each disc is made up of two layers: a soft spongy inner (nucleus pulposes) and a hard outer layer (annulus fibrosis). Damage to either of these layers might lead to irritation elsewhere in the body. Interestingly, each disc has a very high water content when we are born, which lowers as we mature, resulting in a more stiff, hard, and less flexible disc. Unfortunately, this leads to disc degeneration, but this process may be avoided if the spine is correctly treated and cared for from a young age.


  1. Neck pain & stiffness
  2. Shoulder, arm and hand pain
  3. Numbness, tingling and muscle weakness
  4. Lower back pain & stiffness
  5. Buttock, thigh, leg and foot pain
  6. Inability to straighten your posture
  7. Pain the worsens when bending, lifting or straining
  8. Sciatica Pain down the leg



Carrying extra weight or obese, insufficient supporting muscular strength, ageing, poor posture (rounded shoulders, forwards head position, pelvic tilt, pelvic unleveling, scoliosis), incorrect lifting techniques, and occupations that require prolonged sitting may all increase your chances of suffering disc injuries.


If you have other symptoms such as saddle paraesthesia, bowel/bladder malfunction, neurological impairment, rapid development of pain after a traumatic incident, or substantial muscular atrophy (weakness and wasting), you should seek emergency medical assistance.



Disc Bulge treatment options

There are a range of approaches accessible to patients depending on the particular reason of their pain, location, and pathophysiology. Specifics are provided below:



Specific manual adjustments (spinal manipulation) are made to constrained joints during spinal manipulation for back pain in order to enhance total joint alignment, flexibility, and movement as well as to reduce pain.


Joint mobilisation is for those who dislike manual adjustment or during acute episodes of pain where, joint mobilisation is a more gentle therapy that is frequently employed.


Flexion-distraction (traction) therapy as a sort of joint mobilisation that gently stretches the spine's joints, flexion-distraction (traction treatment) is a particularly useful method for lumbar disc issues, Scoliosis, and other joint-related conditions.


Postural correction & core strengthening exercises are two activities that can help with musculoskeletal issues that are underlying, with your chiropractor being able to subscribe, monitor and tailor those exercises for each individual patient.


Flexibility exercises & stretches are an excellent way to improve overall flexibility, release tension and support mobility. Most exercises and stretches are tailored to busy modern lives and easily integrate into your daily routine.


Activator Technique or Impulse Mobilisation Therapy (hand-held instruments) is used to facilitate improved joint mobility and is appropriate for all persons and levels of severity.


SOT pelvic blocking (mobilisation of pelvic joints)  is a low force technique which helps to promote pelvic and sacral joint mobility.





ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES: In certain cases, anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to help you manage your pain. Unfortunately, such drugs do not aid in healing, although they do make life a bit easier in the short term.


CORTISONE INJECTIONS: Cortisone injections are a particularly effective method of treating pain caused by disc injuries. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may be administered directly into the injured area. It is crucial to remember that, like with any treatment, some people may not respond well, so be cautious to exhaust all other treatment choices before contemplating this strategy. In certain circumstances, a mix of injection and manual treatment may be recommended.




Strengthening and flexibility exercise prescription can be useful at times. Specific exercises vary depending on the severity and should only be prescribed by a certified practitioner. We work with a range of leading physiotherapists, exercise physiologist, strength coaches and other professionals which we will be happy to recommend.




If all other treatments have been explored and you have not responded to therapy, surgical intervention to remove your damaged disc or fuse adjacent vertebrae may be clinically justified. It is critical to understand that clinical risks exist with every operation, so make sure to address them with your doctor ahead of time.


For more information on Sciatica Pain


Given majority of patients suffering disc pathology will improve following non-operative therapies such as Chiropractic, a trial of conservative management is warranted before examining operative techniques. Daffner, S (2010). Cost and use of conservative management of lumbar disc herniation before surgical discectomy. The Spine Journal, 10(6); 463-468


A large percentage of acute and chronic lumbar disc bulge treatment patients using Chiropractic care demonstrated clinical significant improvements, with no adverse events. Leeman, S (2014). Outcomes of acute and chronic patients with magnetic resonance imaging – confirmed symptomatic lumbar disc herniations receiving high-velocity, low amplitude spinal manipulative therapy: A prospective observational cohort study with one year follow up. Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics, 37(3); 155 – 163

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