Whenever you hear the term “bulging disc,” your mind may automatically think about excruciating pain. However, bulging discs don’t always cause pain right away. Sometimes, you may be oblivious to what’s going on in your spine until you twist or move the wrong way. A bulging disc is generally discovered through imaging tests like an MRI, and these tests are often only done after the pain has gotten pretty intense.
What Causes a Bulging Disc?
The discs in your spine are there to provide a natural cushion between each vertebra. With the normal aging process, the discs can become flatter and lose some of their flexibility. When too much pressure is put on the disc, the inner liquid can push into the outer layer, creating a bulge. Everyday activities like walking, bending, lifting, and sitting cause pressure that is normally distributed evenly on the discs. However, bad posture, weak muscles, poor nutrition, lack of proper hydration, and repetitive movements can cause unhealthy pressure to build up in the discs.
Since bulging discs are part of the normal aging process, they are a fairly common spinal injury. The good news is that a bulging disc can heal itself over time without invasive procedures. Seeing your Charlotte chiropractor can help speed the healing process up and help decrease your pain from the start.
What Are the Symptoms of a Bulging Disc?
Those with a bulging disc may have had back pain for an extended period and not realized they have a bulging disc. Here are some of the symptoms to look for with a bulging disc:
- Muscle spasms
- Pain or tingling in the shoulders, neck, arms, or fingers
- Radiating pain in the upper back that goes to the chest or stomach
- Shooting pain down one side of the leg that affects the sciatic nerve
How to Ease the Pain of a Bulging Disc
With proper healthy spine habits and specific exercises, a bulging disc will heal. There are several steps you can take to help ease the pain of a bulging disc. Dr. Grant Lisetor offers his support and encouragement and has some helpful tips for you in your journey to recovering from this painful ailment.
See a Good Chiropractor
Since chiropractic care gets to the root cause rather than just treating symptoms, visiting your Charlotte chiropractor should be first on your list for pain relief. A chiropractor can help you find the best plan of care to help you heal quickly and get back to the life you love. They can help your spine maintain proper alignment and naturally and innately heal the problematic disc from the inside out.
Strengthen Your Core
Your leg muscles and abdominal muscles support your back, so strengthening these muscles can help your body heal the bulging disc and help prevent further damage. Incorporating gentle movements, such as Yoga and Pilates, into your daily routines is a great way to help strengthen your core. By building strength in the appropriate muscles, you can give the discs and your spine the support they need.
Improve Your Posture
Making some simple adjustments to your everyday activities can make a big difference in the amount of stress put on your discs. By reducing or eliminating twisting, lifting, and bending, you can assist your disc with the healing process. Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs or on your back with your knees propped up. Take breaks when you have been sitting in the same position for too long and sit up straight with your shoulders back and head pointed forward, not down. By changing a few habits, you can be on your way to pain-free living.
Hydrate and Ice
Staying hydrated is vital to nearly every function in your body, and healing a bulging disc is no different. Increasing water intake will allow more lubrication into your spinal discs, which will increase their function and help them heal more quickly. Additionally, icing your back where the bulging disc is can help a great deal. Not only does it numb some of the pain naturally and safely, but it will also increase blood flow to the area which speeds up healing.
Dr. Grant Lisetor will assess your pain and develop the best plan of care for you. Greater Life Chiropractic knows that each person is different and each experience with bulging discs is different as well. Our goal is to work alongside you and help you on your way to better health. Contact us today to set up an appointment.
Schenk, Kenneth W. “Chiropractic management of chronic low back pain: a report of positive outcomes with patient compliance.” Journal of chiropractic medicine vol. 4,1 (2005): 39-42. doi:10.1016/S0899-3467(07)60111-6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19674645/