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How to Treat a Bulging Disc

Discs are found between the vertebrae in the spine and are somewhat soft and squishy, allowing for movement and adjustment as the spine moves. Sometimes the jelly like filling pushes out on the outer covering resulting in a bulging disc. Bulging discs occur more frequently during the aging process and often go unnoticed when they cause no pain or other symptoms. The doctor may recommend bulging disc treatment if the condition is causing pain, numbness, or affecting an individual's quality of life.

Bulging discs do not typically cause pain unless they are pressing on any of the nerves in the spine or leading from the spine to other areas of the body. However, if back pain does occur, it can generally take care of itself in a couple of weeks with limited treatment. In ongoing cases, more intervention may be necessary.


The first bulging disc treatment attempted should simply be to get a lot of rest and avoid bending and lifting for a day or two. This can reduce pressure on the spine and allow the bulge in the disc to move off of affected nerves. If there is no improvement after a few days, consult a physician.

Pain Medications and Anti-Inflammatories

Over the counter medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin can be used to reduce inflammation as well as bring some pain relief. If these over the counter remedies do not help, a physician may be able to prescribe something a little stronger to bring relief.

Hot and Cold Therapy

Hot packs or cold packs can bring relief from swelling and pain. Some have better luck with one treatment over the other, while many individuals prefer to use combination hot and cold therapy for maximum benefit. A physician can make a proper recommendation on which on to use or if both will work best.


One form of bulging disc treatment that should be tried is exercise through a physical therapist. Not only can painful symptoms be reduced, but the bulging in the disc may be reduced with proper movement and activity.

Alternative Medicine

If traditional bulging disc treatment is not working, alternative therapies such as chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, and spinal decompression might be tried.

Surgical Procedures

If nothing seems to help symptoms of bulging disc, surgical options do exist. Many of these can be performed on an outpatient basis. Talk to a qualified professional to discuss options.


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