Unconventional Treatment Methods for a Bulging Disc

May 7th 2016

The goal of both conventional and unconventional methods to treat a bulging disc is to alleviate pain and discomfort throughout the body and remove the pressure from the spine that causes discs to bulge. Although conventional methods focuses more on restrictions from activity and rest, unconventional methods are often aimed at not only managing pain but also shifting the pressure to retract bulging discs.

Bulging Disc Overview

A bulging disc develops when the outer fibrous portion of the intervertebral disc is weakened, as happens often with age. The central core of the disc produces pressure that stretches to the outer rim, which leads the disc to bulge. Symptoms do not usually occur if the bulging area does not press neural tissues. However, when the bulging disc puts pressure on the nerves of the spine, most patients experience discomfort. A bulging disc in the lower back can cause pain in the feet, legs, buttocks and hips. Bulging discs in the cervical spine often cause pain that radiates from the neck through the arms and fingers.

Conventional Treatments

Many physicians recommend restrictions from activity and rest as a conventional treatment. Weight loss and lifestyle changes that eliminate additional pressure on the lower back are typically recommended, too. Patients are given stretching techniques to relieve pressure from pinched nerves and targeted exercises as recommended by a physical therapist. Home remedies include applying ice packs or heating pads to minimize pain and taking anti-inflammatory medications. Epidural steroid injections are given to some patients to numb the pain.

Unconventional Treatments

Unconventional treatments or alternative therapies could cause relief from the pain of a bulging disc. Chiropractic care to restore the curve of the spine and relieve pressure from the central core is one strategy to minimize the pain and discomfort while adjusting the spine to minimize the risk of additional bulging discs. Acupuncture is another method to minimize pain and discomfort.

Some patients opt for spinal decompression therapy, a nonsurgical approach that employs motorized traction to strengthen the spine. Spinal decompression therapy aims to change the position of the spine to remove pressure from the spinal discs between the bones in the spine. In many cases, this procedure helps to retract the bulging disc.


A bulging disc is a common ailment that can cause pain and discomfort for patients if left untreated. In extreme cases, a bulging disc may cause disability in parts of the body if adjacent nerve roots are compressed. Conventional treatment methods are successful for many, but for some, unconventional treatments may provide more relief from a bulging disc.

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