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Conditions We Treat

Herniated or Bulging Discs

Living with back pain can be a discouraging and often debilitating experience. At Spine Team Texas, we understand the impact this pain has on your daily life, and we’re here to provide you with authoritative and educational insights into its causes, symptoms, and management. If you’re struggling with a herniated or bulging disc, our professional expertise is your first step towards relief.

What is a Herniated or Bulging Disc?

Herniated or bulging discs are conditions affecting the spinal discs, which are rubbery cushions between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine. A disc becomes “herniated” when its inner gel-like core pushes out through a tear or weak area in the outer layer of the disc. On the other hand, a “bulging” disc refers to a disc that extends beyond its usual space, typically involving more of the disc circumference. Both conditions can press on nearby nerves, resulting in pain or discomfort.

What are the Symptoms of Herniated or Bulging Disc?

Symptoms of herniated or bulging discs can vary depending on the location of the affected disc and whether the disc is pressing on a nerve. They may include:

  • Pain and numbness, typically on one side of the body
  • Pain that extends to your arms or legs
  • Pain that worsens at night or with certain movements
  • Pain that worsens after standing or sitting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tingling, aching, or burning sensations in the affected area

Some people, however, may experience no symptoms from a herniated or bulging disc.

Who does Herniated or Bulging Disc Impact?

While a herniated or bulging disc can occur in any part of the spine, they most often affect the lower back (lumbar spine) or neck (cervical spine). They are more common in middle-aged and older adults due to degeneration of the spine but can happen at any age. Factors that may increase your risk include excessive body weight, which causes extra stress on the discs in your lower back, and occupations that demand heavy lifting, pulling, pushing, bending sideways and twisting.

What are the Treatment Options for Herniated or Bulging Disc?

Treatment for herniated or bulging discs usually begins with conservative measures, such as rest, physical therapy, medications to relieve pain and inflammation, and occasionally spinal injections. If your symptoms do not improve with these treatments or if the nerve compression leads to significant weakness, loss of function, or continues to be painful, your physician may recommend surgery to remove or repair the herniated disc.

Frequently Asked Questions about Herniated or Bulging Disc

Q: Can exercises help with herniated or bulging disc pain?
A: Yes, specific exercises can help alleviate the pain associated with a herniated or bulging disc. We can recommend a personalized exercise plan to strengthen the muscles supporting your spine and reduce pressure on the affected disc.

Q: Are there lifestyle changes that can prevent disc herniation or bulging?
A: Maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity, practicing proper body mechanics, and avoiding smoking can help reduce the risk of developing a herniated or bulging disc.

Q: How long does recovery from herniated or bulging disc take?
A: The recovery time varies widely among individuals and depends on the severity of the condition and the treatment approach. With non-surgical treatments, many individuals start seeing improvement in the first few weeks, while full recovery can take up to several months. Surgical interventions might require a longer recovery period.

If you are experiencing back pain or suspect you might have a herniated or bulging disc, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional. To schedule an appointment with our spine specialists, click here or reach out to our office. Our team is committed to helping you understand your condition and explore the right treatment options for your unique situation.

Neck and back pain take the joy out of life. We’re here to help you find it again.

Our founder, Dr. David Rothbart, understood that people struggling with back or neck pain often fear surgery as the first option. He shared this concern, which is why he founded Spine Team Texas—to treat patients conservatively and avoid surgery as the initial solution. Dr. Rothbart’s team of carefully selected pain management experts has helped many patients find relief from their back and neck pain. Schedule your appointment today to find out how they can help you achieve your goals.
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Meet Tom Winders

Businessman, golfer & back pain conqueror
For a while, the only place Tom Winders could get a decent night’s sleep was on his living room love seat, where he could position his back just right. That’s when he knew something had to be done.

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