Bulging Disc Treatments

Good news: pain from a bulging disc can often be relieved through non-surgical treatment. Even better news: a simple outpatient procedure is available for those who may need surgery.


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Non-Surgical Treatment

Some common, non-surgical bulging disc treatment options include options such as resting your back or temporarily reducing your level of daily activity, taking nonprescription medications that reduce pain and inflammation, and taking part in a guided course of physical therapy designed to improve your overall back health and relieve disc-related symptoms. Examples of over-the-counter medications commonly used include naproxen, aspirin and ibuprofen.

An appropriate physical therapy course may include exercises to strengthen your back muscles, exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles (which work in coordination with your back muscles) and exercises to increase your flexibility and blood flow. Your doctor can help you determine the right exercises to help you prevent and alleviate your pain.

Additional options for non-surgical bulging disc treatment include applications of heat or applications of ice or some other cold source. People with relatively severe symptoms may receive prescription-strength painkillers or prescription medications called muscle relaxers, which ease any uncontrolled muscle spasms. A pain specialist may also inject at corticosteroid, such as an epidural steroid injection (ESI), which delivers anti-inflammatory medications directly to the affected area of your spine.

Surgical Treatment Options

If you don’t receive relief from advanced non-surgical options, your doctor may recommend that you undergo a bulging disc surgery. As a rule, minimally invasive surgical procedures provide superior results by successfully addressing your symptoms while avoiding or reducing your risks from open back surgery, such as excessive bleeding, extensive surgical scarring, surgical infection and extensive recovery time.

Commonly used minimally invasive procedures include a surgery called a laminectomy or laminotomy, as well as a surgery called a microdiscectomy. While these procedures produce better overall results than traditional open back surgery, North American Spine procedures typically provides even greater advantages. For example, while microdiscectomy surgery can only address a single damaged disc on one side of your spine during the procedure, a North American Spine surgery can address multiple neighboring discs on both sides of your spine. Additional benefits include lack of collateral damage to nearby areas of your body, and even faster post-surgical recovery time.

How is Bulging Disc Treated?

Bulging Disc treatment depends on you – your specific physiology and how advanced your case is. The North American Spine medical team and your physician will thoroughly evaluate your situation and recommend a treatment plan to provide both maximum relief and minimum recovery time. Treatment plans are grouped into three categories:


Fusion or Stabilization