A bulging disc occurs when the soft cushioning material between the vertebrae of your spine starts to push out, which can cause pain and discomfort in other parts of your body. This condition is known as a herniated or bulging disc. Depending on where it is located, a bulging disc can cause nerve impingement, back pain, neck pain, and even numbness or tingling in the arms or legs.
Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available for those suffering from bulging discs. Chiropractic care in Dubuque is often used to help strengthen the muscles around the spine and improve the range of motion. Exercises may include stretches, core strengthening, or yoga.
What is a Bulging Disc?
A bulging disc is a medical condition that can cause severe pain and discomfort. It occurs when the vertebrae in your spine press against the discs between them, causing them to bulge out of shape. Bulging discs are a common cause of back pain, especially in adults over the age of 30. A bulging disc occurs when the gel-like center of the disc pushes out between the vertebrae, causing a bulge that presses on nearby nerves, causing pain and discomfort as well as decreased mobility in some cases. It can also occur if you have a degenerative condition such as osteoporosis or arthritis that weakens the bones in your spinal column.
Symptoms of Bulging Disc in Dubuque
A bulging disc can cause several different types of symptoms depending on where it is located in your spine and what nerves are affected by the pressure. Some common symptoms include:
• Lower back pain
• Neck pain
• Tingling or numbness in limbs or other parts of the body
• Muscle weakness or stiffness in certain areas
• Difficulty bending or moving certain parts of the body
• Pain that radiates down into your legs or arms
It’s important to note that not all bulging discs will cause symptoms. In some cases, they may remain asymptomatic until they become herniated discs which require more aggressive treatment. It’s important to pay attention to how your body feels and to recognize any changes that could signal something more serious than just normal aches and pains from everyday activities.
Cause of Bulging Disc in Dubuque
The most common cause of a bulging disc is aging. As we get older, our bones and muscles naturally become weaker as wear and tear take their toll over time. This weakening can cause the discs between our vertebrae to not hold up as well as they once did, leading to a bulging disc.
Here are some of the cases of Bulging Discs:
- Age-related Wear and Tear
As we age, our spine discs naturally become weakened due to general wear and tear. This weakening can cause them to bulge outwards when too much pressure is put on them. The most common type of age-related bulging disc occurs in the lower back (lumbar region). Other types may occur in different parts of the spine.
- Injury or Trauma
Injury or trauma to the spine can also cause a disc to bulge outwards. The most common types of injuries that can lead to a bulging disc are falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries (especially contact sports), and heavy lifting. In some cases, even minor incidents such as sneezing or coughing can lead to a slipped disc if there is already existing weakness in that area due to age-related wear and tear or another underlying medical condition.
- Underlying Medical Conditions
Some underlying medical conditions can increase your risk of developing a bulging disc. These include obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis (when one vertebra slips over another), and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spaces within your spine). If you have any of these underlying medical conditions, it’s important to talk with a chiropractic doctor at Tri-States Chiropractic Health and Injury Care in Dubuque about ways to reduce your risk of developing a bulging disc.
- Lifestyle Factors
Certain lifestyle factors can also increase your chances of developing a bulging disc. Poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption can all contribute to weak muscles that put extra strain on your spine and make it more likely for you to develop a bulging disc. Being overweight can also put extra pressure on your spine that increase your chances of developing a disc issue as well.
Top Treatment Options of Bulging Disc in Dubuque
- Alternative Treatments
There are also alternative treatments that can be used to help relieve symptoms associated with bulging discs such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy, and yoga/stretching exercises. Chiropractors at Tri-States Chiropractic Health and Injury Care specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the musculoskeletal system such as bulging discs.
Chiropractors use manual adjustment techniques, massage therapy, ultrasound, electric stimulation, and other treatments to help reduce pain and restore mobility in the affected area. Additionally, chiropractors may provide advice on lifestyle changes that can help prevent future issues or flare-ups
- Physical Therapy or Exercise Therapy
Physical therapy is one of the most common treatments for bulging discs. Through physical therapy, patients have access to a wide range of exercises and stretches that can help improve strength and flexibility in the affected area and reduce pain and discomfort. Physical therapists also educate patients on proper posture and body mechanics to help prevent future injuries or complications.
- Epidural Injections
Epidural injections are another option for treating bulging discs. During an epidural injection, medicine is injected directly into the spine near the affected area to reduce inflammation and pain in that part of the body. These injections typically include steroids or anesthetic agents that work to provide immediate relief from discomfort caused by a bulging disc. While this method may not be suitable for everyone, it does offer short-term relief for those who find it helpful.
When conservative treatments like physical therapy are not enough to provide relief from a bulging disc, medications may be necessary to reduce inflammation and decrease pain levels. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to reduce swelling and ease discomfort. In more severe cases, stronger prescription medications such as muscle relaxants or even narcotic pain relievers may be prescribed by your doctor if necessary.
- How Hot and Cold Therapy Works
Hot and cold therapy can be used to treat bulging discs by reducing inflammation and providing temporary relief from pain. The heat increases blood circulation, which helps relax tight muscles in the affected area. This can reduce pressure on the disc, leading to less pain. On the other hand, applying cold compresses to the affected area can reduce swelling by constricting blood vessels. This can also help numb the area so you don’t feel any discomfort.
Chiropractic Care in Treating Bulging Disc in Dubuque
Chiropractic care in Dubuque is an effective treatment option for those suffering from bulging disc pain. Through spinal manipulation techniques combined with lifestyle changes like exercise modifications or dietary adjustments, chiropractic doctor Dr. Peter Lynch can provide relief from the discomfort associated with bulging discs and promote overall healing of the affected area(s).
If you’re experiencing any type of discomfort due to a bulging disc issue in Dubuque, contact us today at (563) 635-6599 to learn more about how we can help you manage your symptoms through chiropractic care!