Herniated Disc & Bulging Disc | Herniated Disc Treatment

A herniated disc and bulging disc refers to the displacement of discs in the lumbar back or cervical region. Common herniated disc symptoms include a dull ache, limited mobility, and numbness in certain areas. Natural degeneration can accelerate the pain and stiffness, causing further health complications. At Specialized Physical Therapy, we know how to heal a herniated disc quickly with a customized treatment plan.

Your spinal column features small discs between each vertebra. These discs have a cushioning effect on your aging spine. They’re made out of tough outer cartilage that protects the softer inner cartilage that consists of a jelly-like nucleus in the center.

Its shock-absorbing qualities allow smooth spinal movements with little or no strain placed on spinal nerves.

Over the years, these discs might shift from their position and protrude on the edge of your spinal cord.

In turn, this places extensive pressure on a nerve.  Medical experts refer to this condition as a pinched spinal nerve or bulging disc. If the protrusion increases and the inner layer gets exposed, the bulging disc develops into a lumbar disc herniation. The leading causes for this problem include repetitive movements, overuse injury, or traumatic injury in a localized spinal region.

Additionally, you might experience herniated disc lower back pain due to natural degeneration. In these cases, excessive wear and tear cause spinal fluid to dehydrate. Due to this, the discs become stiff, making movement difficult, which can severely restrict your mobility.  

If the herniated disc symptoms do not subside, you should seek immediate attention. Early intervention retains the full range of motion and prevents low back pain caused by disc bulges.

Symptoms

Herniated disc symptoms vary depending on the position and size of the bulging disc.

Here’s an overview of what you may experience:

  • Neck/low back pain caused by a herniated disc or disc bulge 
  • Arm pain or leg pain that radiates can move towards the feet (Present when bending forward or slouching)
  • Mild pain in the affected spinal area
  •  Difficulty, discomfort, and spinal pain increasing when you move (especially if you lift objects)

In severe cases, you might feel numbness and tingling sensation in the affected area.

Causes

  • Repetitive movement (i.e., lifting) resulting in an overuse injury 
  • Nature degeneration of the cervical/lumbar spine (or dehydration of discs due to old age)
  • Traumatic spinal injury
  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Fall or tripping over object
  • Whiplash

Diagnosis

We will conduct a comprehensive physical evaluation to observe your mobility, strength, posture, and functional levels for activities of daily living (i.e., walking, sitting, climbing stairs). Our physical therapists will compare current symptoms with your medical history, previous spinal injuries, and daily routine.

Many times everyday movement patterns and seated positions place pressure on the spinal cord, leading to cervical and lumbar disc herniation. That’s why we will ask you a series of questions related to your daily routine and posture to assess how it affects your spine. Your answers will help us rule out other possibilities for low back pain/neck pain. 

After this, we will develop an individualized herniated disc treatment plan to accommodate the unique circumstances of your spinal injury.

Treatment

We aim to relieve pressure and strain placed on the affected nerves during your disc herniation treatment. Our physical therapy plan aligns with individual movement goals, occupational and lifestyle routines. Incorporating these aspects of your life mitigates the risk of recurring low back pain after treatment.

Herniated Disc & Bulging Disc

Typical options for treatment include a combination of manual therapy techniques and at-home exercises.  These are taught according to the severity of your symptoms. Core goals include reduction in pain, better strength, and improved core stability.

Apart from this, we offer functional training and postural alignment training for optimum recovery. That way, athletes, manual laborers, and desk workers can regain sufficient strength and flexibility to resume doing what they love. We teach workplace ergonomic settings and other movement tips to prevent re-injury. 

At every step, we consider how to heal herniated disc quickly and naturally without compromising your range of motion. Our personalized plan and continuous support will get you back on your feet in record time when followed correctly.

Does your low back hurt? Call 201-773-8851 or contact us HERE to schedule an appointment or ask for further details about herniated disc treatment.

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