Bulging discs, especially in the lumbar (or low back) region can be painful and frequently debilitating. Not all disc problems require surgery, although many do when they become untreatable by lesser means.
There Is Nothing Sacred About a Bulging Disc
That statement means that just because a disc is bulging, it does not mean things cannot improve. Often times bed rest and some pelvic traction, a means of stretching the spinal column, can cause the disc to "reduce" itself back into its normal habitat.
Chiropractic Adjuctments can Help
There are many different types of chiropractic techniques that can be used to reduce a protruding or bulging disc. Traction and spinal manipulation are two very beneficial techniques that are widely utilized, and with good overall success.
Many physical therapy techniques had their origins in the chiropractic arena. There have been numerous enhancements and embellishments to them as well. The most common therapy modalities used today are pelvic traction (either automated or free-weights), ultrasound, hot packs and therapeutic massage.
The McKenzie Method
The McKenzie method for treatment of low back pain and bulging discs involves treatment of the spine as it relates to the concepts of posture, dysfunction and derangement. This method deals with the abnormalities of the spine that can be caused by stresses from any one of the three areas described. The chief component to the McKenzie method is the use of extension exercises in which the low back is positioned in somewhat of a hyper-extended position to encourage disc material to reduce into the normal location for it.
The Williams Technique
The Williams method of spinal manipulation employs the reverse of what the McKenzie techniques employs. The lumbar spine can become unstable of dysfunctional from inadequate support from either the from or the rear supportive structures, such as muscles and ligaments. This technique utilizes the flexion (bending) position to encourage the disc to reduce and decompress the nerves.
When curling up in a ball, the technique can be done first with one leg, then the other, then both simultaneously.
Epidural Steroid Injections for Pain Relief
Cortisone that is injected into the spinal canal, but outside the spinal sac, can have considerable benefits in reducing the pain and inflammation that can irritate spinal nerves. This procedure is typically performed by a Pain Management professional who is usually an anesthesiologist. It is usually an out-patient affair and typically takes less that 1 hour to complete.
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