3 Natural Ways To Avoid Costly Treatments For a Bulging Disc

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Do you have a bulging disc? Maybe you have symptoms of a bulging disc and are concerned you’re at risk of serious back issues. Regardless, you’re probably thinking are there bulging disc treatments or exercises I can perform on my own? The answer is YES! 

In the video below, Dr. RJ Burr discusses exactly what you need to know about naturally managing a bulging disc. 

If you don’t like the video or want more information, continue reading.

What is a bulging disc?

First, it’s important to understand the purpose of spinal discs is to work as a shock absorber for the bones of the spine. The disc is comprised of many layers of tough rings with a gel-like substance in the middle. A disc bulge happens when the gel starts to push and create outpouching of the layers due to accumulated bending and the stress of prolonged postures, like slouching.

How is a bulging disc different than a herniated disc?

A herniated disc is basically a bulging disc but has progressed to the point where the gel has pushed through all the layers and is leaking out of the disc. It sounds scary, but just like a cut on your skin, a herniated disc can heal on its own!

RELATED: How To Avoid Opioids and Surgery For Back Pain 

Bulging disc symptoms and treatments

Bulging disc symptoms and treatments

Common bulging disc symptoms include local back pain, stiffness, weakness, muscle spasms, and radiating pain, numbness, or tingling in the buttocks, hips, and legs.

On rare occasions, a disc bulge may cause loss of bladder or bowel control, which requires a trip to the emergency room for immediate surgery.

There are many conservative and invasive bulging disc treatment options available. Unfortunately, too many options can make it difficult to decide which way to go in an attempt to avoid bulging disc surgery.

Did you know you can have a bulging disc and experience no pain at all? On the other side of the coin, you could have excruciating back pain with a completely clean X-ray or MRI scan. If you’re over the age of 55 it’s likely an MRI of your back would reveal a bulging disc, regardless if you have pain or not.

With this in mind, did you know there are ways to reduce and even completely resolve symptoms of a bulging disc at home without costly treatments or procedures, regardless of the pain is from a bulging disc or not? A bulging disc in the lower back is likely the result of postural habits, so it’s important to have lifestyle modification strategies in place, not only focus on exercises for bulging discs.

Here are 3 natural ways to avoid costly treatments for a bulging disc

Females exercising

1) Stay active

One of the worst things you could do is to stop moving. Most bulging disc symptoms can resolve on their own by just being active. However, it’s important to identify if any particular movements that make you feel better or worse. Experiencing some pain during movement is fine, but if it’s progressively getting worse and staying worse even after you stop the moving, it’s best to avoid it and seek guidance from a professional.

Two adult males slouching while sitting

2) Avoid forward bending

Most bulging disc injuries are the result of repetitive forward bending stress of the spine from habits like sitting, rounding at the waist, lifting with the back, and exercises like sit-ups and crunches.

3) Do the press-up exercise

The press-up bends your spine in the opposite direction to reduce disc symptoms and return balance to the spine. Though many will benefit from the press-up, it’s not for everyone. If your symptoms get and stay worse after doing press-ups, consult a professional for guidance.

Whether it’s from a bulging disc or not, everyone’s pain experience is different. Just because someone else with back pain had success with an exercise, doesn’t mean you will.

Unfortunately, there are no cookie-cutter protocols. If you’ve tried to fix your pain without success, it’s best to seek out professional guidance to make sure it’s not a more serious problem.

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RJ Burr, DC
I’m​ ​Dr. RJ Burr, a chiropractor​ ​in Plymouth, MI. I’ve never been much of a wordsmith, so I’ve always found writing these bios to be a little tricky. But hey, if I were a wiz at writing biographies, I probably wouldn’t have been able to focus on my true passion in life: helping people get back to doing what they love and performing better. I graduated from Central Michigan University before I pursued my Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the National University of Health Sciences (NUHS). I’ve accrued more than 700 hours of post-graduate work with an emphasis on manual therapy, rehabilitation, biomechanics, nutrition and movement restoration. I’ve earned various certifications such as McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy (Cert. MDT), Active Release Techniques (ART), and Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) medical track, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), and a candidate for the American Chiropractic Rehab Board Diplomate (DACRB). I discovered early on that truly solving problems wasn’t something I could do alone. As a matter of fact, we have to work together and you have to be the change. I don't "fix" people, rather work as a guide to solve their muscle and joint pain frustrations, so they can get back to the lifestyle they deserve.