What is a Bulging Disc?
The human spine is responsible for housing the spinal cord, which is an extension of the central nervous system. Because the spinal cord is a structure that is highly sensitive to external stimuli, it is protected by the bony formations of the spine, especially the vertebrae.
The way the spine is structured can be described as follows: the vertebrae have a rather cylindrical shape, with wing-like bony formations on either side (the left and right). They are stacked upon one another in a vertical manner and allow for a hollow passage to form in the middle. That is where the spinal cord passes through. Additionally, the in-between each vertebrae there is a spinal disc (or intervertebral disc) that offers cushion and shock-absorption from impact. Because of stress sustained over the years, the spine is prone to various disc problems.
A bulging disc refers to the process where the soft inner tissue (nucleus or disc material) of one of the spinal discs slips out of its protective shell. This then leads to various symptoms, including back pain. Disc herniation, disc bulge, or a slipped disc can occur in any of the three regions of the spine: lumbar spine, thoracic spine, or cervical spine.
Can a Bulging or Herniated Disc Heal Naturally?
A herniated or bulging disk may take a long time to recover naturally. That is not to say that it’s not possible to heal a herniated disc naturally.
However, what is defined as natural does not entail just carrying on with one’s life as if the herniated disk is not there. Rather, it implies making minor adjustments that are not invasive, in order to facilitate the recovery of the disc.
These recommendations will be discussed in detail further down below.
Causes of a Bulging Disc
A disc herniation may occur due to various factors. Here are some of them:
- As we become older, the stress that out spine has been subject to throughout the years begins to take its toll and wear out the structure of our spine, including the discs that provide cushions for the vertebrae.
- Loss of liquid from the disc nucleus. Also due to aging, the structure of the nucleus can change with time, where the quantity of liquid that is contained within itself diminishes.
- A major trauma that causes the shell of a disk to break may allow for the nucleus to bulge out of its place.
- Working in an environment that requires heavy lifting may place increased strain on one’s back and lead to disc herniation.
- Some people are naturally more prone to developing a bulging disc.
Symptoms of a Bulging Disc
Herniated disc pain is one of the main symptoms that a person who suffers from a herniated disc experiences. Depending on the location of the herniation, the pain can occur in either one of the three major spinal sections: lumbar, thoracic, and cervical.
The pain can either manifest locally, as is the case for neck pain (felt in the upper back) or low back pain (felt in the lower back), or refer to other parts of the body, such as the legs in the case of a lumbar disc herniation, or the shoulders or arms if the herniation occurs in the cervical region.
Apart from that, some people might experience other symptoms such as:
- Possible mobility (walking) issues
If you experience pain alongside other symptoms mentioned above, it is recommended to seek medical advice and obtain a diagnosis, so that if the issues are due to a bulging disc, it can be addressed as soon as possible.
Obtaining a diagnosis usually involves a consultation with a spinal specialist who would conduct a physical examination, where the patient’s back is examined for any noticeable physical deformities. During this initial phase, the patient will also be asked to provide more details on the symptoms.
If the diagnosis is confirmed, the patient can then proceed to the treatment phase, where there are a few options to choose from, depending on the severity of the patient’s condition as well as personal preferences.
Conventional treatment options
Traditional treatments for bulging discs include options such as:
- Using anti-inflammatory medication to temporarily relieve the pain that occurs due to a bulging disc. It must be noted, however, that this is not really a treatment method, but rather a way to manage the pain, as what the pain medication does it to temporarily mask the symptoms, but not actually treat them.
- Steroid injections
- Muscle relaxants
- Surgical interventions
How to Treat a Bulging Disc Naturally
As a caveat, natural and home remedies do not represent a substitute for medical health care for people who suffer from chronic conditions, or whose situation presents an emergency. Instead, the aim of natural treatment modalities is to help patients whose condition is mild to moderate.
In order to live pain free, the best approach to take is to resort to non-invasive, natural treatment modalities. These are recommended as they tend to be free of side-effects, which is ideal in the healing process.
Some of the more natural methods to treat a bulging disc and obtain long-term pain relief include:
- Rest – reducing the stress placed upon the spine may help ameliorate the pain
- Physical therapy and stretching to re-mobilise the spine
- Some exercises may help by strengthening the core and back muscles required for spine and core stability
- Our solution: using a spinal decompression device
Spinal Backrack Technology
If you want to take your recovery from thoracic back pain to the next level and live pain-free try the Spinal Backrack. It’s a patented class I medical device, can help you become pain free without causing any side effects. It has been carefully engineered by the brightest minds on Harley Street to give you the best possible comfort and results.
Its aim is to treat the underlying causes of your pain. By following specific disc exercises using the Backrack, you can decompress your spine, relieve pressure in your back, restore mobility to the thoracic spine and leave your symptoms in the past!