A common injury sustained in the intervertebral disc of the spine is called a bulging disc. A bulging disc can happen in your neck (cervical spine), lower back (lumbar spine) or upper and mid-back (thoracic spine).
A protruding disc or a slipped disc is the common term used for a bulging disc. A herniated disc is a significant disc bulge in the annulus.
Bulging Disc causes
There are three main components to cause a bulging disc, to include:
Your spine starts stressing with the poor posture assumed when working, sitting, and standing. The annulus or posterior fibrocartilage of the spinal discs becomes weak and overstretched with sustained forwarding, bending or slouching positions. The disc nucleus fluid posteriorly becomes displaced leading to poor disc integrity over the years of poor posture.
Regularly changing your posture or attempt to maintain good posture at all times is the best way to decrease any adverse effects on the spine.
Unexpected and Sudden Load
A traumatic situation such as a car accident can cause an unexpected and sudden load to the intervertebral discs. Your body’s attempt to repel the sudden force at the point of impact will tear the annulus fibres leading to a disc injury.
Lifting, bending or pulling can also bring the unexpected and sudden load to the disc. Proper body mechanics should be practiced when doing these positions to avoid the risk of disc trauma.
A genetic predisposition is considered an important factor for causing spinal injuries.
Some people are genetically inclined to have high elastin components and lesser density in their fibrocartilaginous fibres. Environmental factors such as nature of the job, excess fat in the abdominal area, poor strength in the lower limb, and poor core stability can also cause disc injuries.
Bulging Disc Therapy
What is bulging disc therapy? Surgery is not needed for most minor and moderately injuries occurring in the spine. Therapy methods used by a physiotherapist reduce inflammation and pain.
The top reason to seek treatment for a bulging disc is pain management. Pain is the final symptom developed and the first symptom that has to be helped.
The sudden development symptoms for the bulging disc are due to inflammation. The inflamed structures can be effectively reduced by exercises or ice therapy.
An array of treatment methods will be used by the physiotherapist to reduce inflammation and pain. They can include temporary use of a back brace, ice, unloading taping techniques, electrotherapy, soft tissue massage, and acupuncture.
Exercises for the Bulging Disc
Core stability and the lower abdominal program will be facilitated by the physiotherapist once the inflammation and pain have been managed. The shortened or tight muscles can loosen up with exercise movements specific to the case of the patient. A remedial massage or stretching program can also be recommended.
Restore Normal Function
As the condition improves, the physiotherapist will focus on restoring the normal spinal and pelvic alignment. They will subject the patient to a range of motion movements during stressful positions and postures of the body. Powering up the leg muscle and core is also worked on.
Nature will compensate and try to heal an untreated bulging disc. However, pain can be the number one factor for patients to seek medical help. Professional help and advice is the best way to eliminate the pain as well as avoiding future recurrences. We are here to help.