Have you seen your doctor and been told you have a bulging disc? Perhaps your CT or MRI shows a bulging disc. Now you’re searching for bulging disc treatment so that you can get your pain under control and resume a normal lifestyle. Good news!! Physiotherapy and exercise is one of the most effective forms of bulging disc treatment in Perth. Book an appointment online and feel better today!
The diagnosis of a bulging disc often triggers catastrophic beliefs of severe structural damage, which can lead to persistent/chronic pain patterns and a reliance on passive intervention… not to mention the millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money spent on back pain treatment each year. Lucky you’ve found experts in bulging disc treatment in Perth.
What is a disc?
An intervertebral disc is essentially a shock absorber. They are fused between each of the vertebrae or building blocks in your spine. The discs in your neck are smaller than the ones in your lower back, due to the size of the vertebrae and also the different forces they are subjected to. Discs have a tough outer portion (annulus fibrosus) and a soft inner portion (nucleus pulposus), a little like a jam donut. As your spine moves in one direction, your disc will compress or bulge a little on that side and stretch a little on the opposite side. The discs and the vertebrae are completely surrounded by strong ligaments, tendons, fascia and muscle and contrary to common belief, they simply CAN NOT slip out of place.
What is a bulging disc?
The discs in our back and neck are not immune to aging, they are subject to wear and tear just like the rest of us. NORMAL degenerative changes are often seen on imaging studies in people as young as teenagers and do not always correlate with back pain. Repetitive movements like bending, sustained postures like slouch sitting and heavy lifting can potentially cause disc injuries, especially in those of us who are deconditioned. Common injuries include bulging discs, disc protrusions and disc extrusions. These occur when part of the tough outer portion of the disc becomes weak or soft and bulges outside it’s normal margin. The good news is that bulging disc treatement is available and effective!
How long will my bulging disc take to recover?
90% of bulging discs will recover on their own without the need for surgical intervention. Compare a bulging disc to an ankle sprain… If you injure your ankle, you will likely rest it for a couple of days, maybe strap it up, gradually load it again with a little bit of walking and progress back to jogging and running after a few weeks when it feels better. Unfortunately that concept of relative rest and progressive loading seems to be forgotten or ignored with low back injures. If your back injury has occurred due to repetitive bending, logic suggests that if you return to repetitive bending too quickly, you will likely interrupt the normal healing process. In saying that, bed rest can be disastrous so make sure you consult your Physiotherapist to ensure your disc injury is managed correctly. Most minor bulging discs recover within 3-6 weeks and more moderate bulging disc injuries can take up to 3 months. If your back pain hasn’t resolved within 3 months, I would recommend you see you seek Physiotherapy advice as you may receiving incorrect bulging disc treatment.
I have a bulging disc on my MRI so I’m condemned to a life with back pain!
WRONG! “There is a high prevalence of ‘abnormal’ findings on MRI in pain-free populations: disc degeneration (91%), bulging discs (56%), disc protrusion (32%), annular tears (38%).” Those stats are according to Professor Peter O’Sullivan who is internationally renowned as a leading researcher and clinician specializing in back pain. That’s right, nearly all of us have abnormalities in our spine but it absolutely does not mean that we will be subjected to back pain. Pain is very complex phenomenon – stay tuned for a future blog on pain.
Bulging Disc Treatment
We have already established that bulging discs are highly prevalent in pain free populations and are not strongly predictive of future low back pain and correlate poorly with levels of pain and disability” (Deyo 2002, Jarvik JG 2005).
So you may find it surprising that according to a recent study performed by Franz EW, et al in the Journal of Neurosurgery, more than 50% of patients indicated that they would undergo spinal surgery based on MRI findings alone, regardless of whether they had symptoms or not. Bulging disc treatment by our physios is a more sensible conservative option.
WHAT!!! These findings confirm the common misconceptions around low back pain, especially disc injuries and highlight the necessity for improved communication between the patient and health professional.
Speak to your Physiotherapist at My Physio Perth today to learn more about bulging disc treatment options or click here to read about back pain treatment options.