Herniated and Bulging Discs
Helping You Understand the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments to Help Relieve You of Pain
What is a Herniated (Bulging) Disc?
A herniated disc means that there is a problem with one of the discs (a rubbery cushion) between the vertebrae (individual spinal bones). Spinal discs have a soft center that is surrounded by a tough exterior and when the soft center gets pushed out through a tear in the exterior, it is known as a herniated disc or a ruptured disc. Bulging disc is another term used to refer to a herniated disc.
Many people associate herniated/bulging discs with a need for surgery. The threat of surgery can be scary, as the cost is very high and recovery can be quite painful. Cornerstone Chiropractic offers a highly specialized, state-of-the-art option to potentially avoid surgery- Spinal Decompression Therapy.
Common Questions About Herniated and Bulging Discs
Back pain can be intolerable. For many people, this not only means limiting activities, but it can also force them to miss workdays and other essential functions in life.
There are all kinds of back pain that people deal with, each of which causes its own discomfort. Here we discuss herniated and bulging discs, chiropractic treatments, and how a Hiram, GA chiropractor can help you with back pain. Keep reading to learn more!
What is a Herniated Disc, and is the Same as a Bulging Disc?
As we grow older, the discs in our back gradually lose fluid volume. This process begins in the early thirties and progresses slowly over time.
Bulging discs are often equated with a herniated disc, which is incorrect. A herniated disc means there is a crack in the disc’s outer layer. Usually, only a tiny part of the disc is affected, and the soft material that forms the nucleus pulposus protrudes.
A bulging disc is different from a herniated disc because it has no cracks. The disc sticks out of the gap, but no cracks or material are sticking out. A bulging disc also affects more areas of the disc than herniated discs.
What are the Causes of a Herniated or Bulging Disc?
Weakened back muscles are usually to blame for back pain. Tension and straining activities on the spine, such as lifting heavy objects, cause the vertebrae to slide. People who live an inactive lifestyle or smoke may have an increased chance of getting a bulging or herniated disc due to weakened back muscles.
The most common causes of herniated discs are:
- Injury: High-impact injury or trauma can make the disc tear, rupture, or bulge.
- Repetitive movements: Work, life, and sports activities stress the spine and lower back, further weakening an already vulnerable area.
- Genetics: Some genes are frequently found to be present in people with disc degeneration. More investigation is needed to study the role of these genes and how they can help treatments in the future.
- Wear and tear: Discs aren’t as flexible as they used to be and dry out.
- Lifting the wrong way: Never lift weights while bending at the waist. Proper weight lifting requires lifting with your legs and a straight back.
- Obesity: Excess weight can put an extreme amount of strain on the spine and cause back pain, bulging, or herniated discs.
What are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
The most common symptoms of a herniated disc include the following:
- Hyper reflexivity in one or both legs
- Muscle weakness in legs, tingling, or numbness
- Radiating pain in the forearm, fingers, and upper arm
- Deep pain above the shoulder blade/ shoulder area
- Changes in bladder or bowel function
- Paralysis below the waist
- Low back or neck pain
What is a Bulging Disc in Your Back?
A bulging disc is a painful medical problem in the spine. Your spine is made up of stacked vertebrae. There is a soft cartilage disc between each vertebra that provides cushioning during movement. In addition, each disc has tough outer cartilage designed to fit between the vertebrae that require cushioning.
As people grow older and experience other problems, these discs can lose shape and stick out above where they should be. When this happens, it is called a bulging disc.
What are the Symptoms of a Bulging Disc?
A bulging disc is problematic because it can appear anywhere along the spine, from the neck to the hips. In addition, it can be excruciating when the disc compresses the spinal nerves. However, sometimes bulging discs can be difficult to diagnose because patients do not always experience pain due to problems.
Symptoms of a bulging disc may include headache, numbness, and tingling in the neck, face, shoulders, arms, and hand pain. If there is a bulging disc in your lower back, signs usually involve at least one of the following:
- weakness in the leg
- numbness in the limbs
- changes in bladder or bowel function
How Do Chiropractors Diagnose a Bulging or Herniated Disc?
Chiropractors can usually diagnose bulging discs based on physical examination and medical history. In addition, patients may be advised to have an x-ray, MRI, or CT scan to diagnose their pain.
What is the Treatment for a Herniated or Bulging Disc?
If you are diagnosed with a herniated or bulging disc, there are several treatments available. The best treatment for a herniated or bulging disc is chiropractic care, such as spinal manipulation. However, some doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain. Patients are also advised to reposition their bodies while sleeping or sitting to relieve symptoms.
A healthy diet and weight loss plan are regularly recommended for obese patients experiencing bulging discs. In addition, if your back muscles are weak, physical therapy may be recommended to strengthen your muscles. Warm-up blocks, ice packs, massage therapies, and exercise can also help relieve the pain caused by slips.
Chiropractic treatment plans may also include educational and self-management instructions to control or eliminate pain with proper posture and physical mechanics.
Whatever treatment your Hiram, GA chiropractor recommends, they will discuss it with you, including benefits and risks. The above therapies could be part of your treatment plan, but chiropractors will answer your questions and work with you to choose a treatment that suits your specific goals and preferences.
How Can a Chiropractor Help with Disc Problems?
Chiropractic is non-invasive and does not involve medication or injections, making it the preferred treatment for many patients with herniated and bulging discs. After being diagnosed, you and your chiropractor can work together to find the best way to treat your condition.
Your chiropractor will want to confirm your diagnosis. They will likely ask you questions about your medical history, give you a physical examination, test your reflexes, and perform muscle tone tests. Chiropractors can also order MRIs, x-rays, and other diagnostic tests to better understand what’s going on.
One of the most popular benefits of chiropractic care is a general health approach. Cornerstone Chiropractors examine the entire spine, not just the injured area. This will help them understand if there is a problem elsewhere in the spine and if the disc is under tension. They treat your entire spine and give you instructions on self-care, exercise, and nutrition recommendations so that you can progress and live painlessly.
Chiropractors can use spinal adjustment methods that specifically address joint limitations and dysfunction. Through intensive chiropractic adjustments, chiropractors use gentle techniques to relieve painful symptoms by manipulating swollen or herniated discs.
A spinal decompression machine may be used to open the spinal joints to reduce disc pressure and return them to their original position. Spinal decompression can relieve the symptoms of a bulging disc and restore the patient’s mobility.
Chiropractic treatment of swollen or fractured discs is safe, effective, and long-lasting. As a result, many patients often prefer this type of treatment. It also helps patients avoid surgery and can lead to a quicker recovery.
If you have back pain due to disc problems, you should seek quality chiropractic care to increase mobility, reduce pain, and improve your quality of life.
Spinal Decompression for Back Pain
Cornerstone Chiropractors in Hiram, GA know how to stretch the spine safely to relieve back pain from herniated and bulging discs. They use treatments such as spinal decompression to move the disc off of the nerve to relieve pressure and pain. It can also help relieve nerve pain and reduces inflammation caused by herniated discs.
Spinal decompression is a non-surgical procedure that supports back, neck, arm, and leg pain relief and healing. The spinal decompression machine is equipped with an advanced traction control system that gently pulls the spine painlessly. This gentle separation promotes healing.
Decompression of the spine should not cause any pain. You will feel a light, painless stretch on your spine. The treatment is so mild in nature that patients sometimes fall asleep during the procedure!
Contact Your Local Hiram Chiropractor Today for Herniated or Bulging Discs
If you suspect you have a herniated or bulging disc, or if you experience any back pain, please get in touch with Cornerstone Chiropractic in Hiram, GA. It is advisable to come to our chiropractors for a consultation to assess the problem and develop a treatment plan.
At Cornerstone Chiropractic, we provide safe and effective chiropractic care for various issues, including herniated and bulging discs. We will work to reach the root of your problem and design a personalized treatment plan for you.
Cornerstone Chiropractic is pleased to work with your insurance company to make the necessary claims to cover the costs. Whether your chiropractic treatment is covered or not depends on your insurance company and your policy. However, if your treatment is not covered by insurance, we provide many convenient payment options to fit your budget.
In addition to general chiropractic care, we also offer spinal decompression, medical massage, and other services. Let us show you how non-invasive, drug-free treatments can relieve your pain!