Can a Chiropractor Help Bulging Discs?
Chiropractor for Bulging Disc in Anchorage or Juneau: Bulging disc pain can be debilitating, but there’s no reason to suffer needlessly. Studies showing how effective chiropractic care is at treating bulging discs continue to be published. And here at Better Health Alaska, we’ve helped thousands of Alaskans with their bulging and herniated discs.
The most effective type of care for a bulging disc includes several techniques. Chiropractic adjustments and decompression help take the pressure off the disc. Massage therapy and physical therapy can help to promote healing and relieve pain. There’s plenty of evidence to support this type of care, so read on to find out more!
Chiropractic Treatment for Bulging Disc: The Evidence
At Better Health Chiropractic, we use evidence-based techniques for treatment. After all, healthcare is a science and there are always new studies being published about the effects of chiropractic care and other medical treatments.
So, before we dive into exactly how a chiropractor can help with a bulging disc, it’s important for you to see the evidence that chiropractic care does in fact work in treating bulging discs. Of course, no single treatment is ever 100% effective for any ailment. That said, the majority of bulging discs can be treated successfully and safely by a chiropractor, as the following studies show.
Can a Chiropractor Help a Bulging Disc in Back?
First, we’ll look at some studies detailing successful chiropractic treatment for a bulging disc in the back.
The “Gold Standard” of Studies
A randomized, double-blind clinical trial (called the “Gold Standard” of study protocols) published in The Spine Journal detailed a study of 102 patients with back pain and sciatica due to a herniated disc. The participants were split into two groups, one which underwent simulated chiropractic manipulations and one which underwent actual chiropractic manipulations.
At the end of the study, the authors found that active manipulations worked better for relieving pain due to disc protrusion than simulated manipulations.
Chiropractic Care Can Work When Surgery and Steroids Don’t
More evidence comes in the form of a case study, published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. This study details the treatment of a 54-year-old man with a history of low back pain and sciatica. This man could not walk without pain and was unable to perform normal activities. And, in fact, he had been treated with both steroid injections and surgery to correct the problem — neither of which worked.
The doctor of chiropractic that treated him used a multi-faceted approach that included chiropractic manipulations, rehabilitation exercises, strengthening exercises, and patient education. The patient reported a decrease in symptoms after just seven visits. And he continued to have positive results even after he was moved to home-based exercises with minimal continued chiropractic care.
This case study is particularly interesting because the patient tried both steroid injections and surgery with no success. Then, when he saw a chiropractor, he found success when treating the bulging disc naturally.
When to See a Chiropractor for a Bulging Disc?
Bulging discs are intensely painful. If left untreated, they can continue to be damaged and lead to a herniated disc. When should you see a chiropractor for a bulging disc? As soon as you possibly can!
Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. As we mentioned before, a bulging disc can quickly become a herniated disc. While a bulging disc can return to its normal position in between the vertebrae, a herniated disc cannot.
If you are feeling any type of pain, whether it’s a sudden, sharp pain, a burning, lingering pain, or even a continual ache that crops up every time you engage in certain activities, seeing a chiropractor can prevent that bulging disc from becoming more severe. Make an appointment as soon as possible to determine the source of your pain.
Better Health Alaska locations:
Better Health Chiropractic Anchorage
8840 Old Seward Hwy E, Anchorage, AK 99515, United States
Open Hours: 9AM to 7PM
Better Health Chiropractic Juneau
2201 Dunn Street, #2, Juneau, Alaska 99801
Open Hours: 9AM to 7PM
Can a Chiropractor Help a Bulging Disc in Neck?
Now that we’ve covered how effective chiropractic care is for bulging discs in the back, let’s talk about bulging discs in the neck.
Multiple Disc Protrusions in the Neck
This case study details the treatment of a woman with multiple bulging discs in her neck after a car accident. The woman, 42-years-old, had four disc protrusions, as shown by an MRI. The chiropractor who treated her first tried high-velocity manual manipulations, but this seemed to make things worse.
Next, the chiropractor tried a different tactic, performing instrument-assisted manipulations instead. This course of treatment worked and the patient’s symptoms resolved completely.
Massage Therapy for Bulging Disc
There are some cases of disc issues where chiropractic manipulations may not be the best solution. This case study of a 66-year-old woman with degenerative disc disease is one example. The woman was experiencing pain in her neck and in her left shoulder and arm. She also had limited range of motion in the neck.
After massage therapy for several treatment sessions, the woman experienced an improvement in pain and range of motion, allowing her to perform some of her daily activities better than she could before the treatment.
This study is an excellent example of the importance of different conservative approaches. Although there’s nothing anyone can do to cure degenerative disc disease, conservative treatment can help to manage that pain so that it doesn’t rule the patient’s life.
And this is why at our Anchorage clinic we offer not only chiropractic care but physical therapy and massage therapy, as well. We know that no two patients are exactly alike, and each requires a personalized treatment plan for best results.
What Does a Chiropractor Do for a Bulging Disc?
Treatment for a bulging disc will vary depending on the patient, their health, what’s causing the issue, and where the disc is located.
As mentioned above, each patient’s treatment plan is unique. But, there are some common treatment options that work for most patients.
Your treatment plan may include:
Spinal manipulation or adjustments
Non-surgical spinal decompression
Pelvic Blocking techniques
Chiropractic massage therapy
Heat or ice therapy
Your chiropractor will treat your herniated disc by correcting the spinal misalignment, the actual disc itself, relieving the pressure causing the disc to bulge, which is what causes the pain and other symptoms.
It’s also common for a chiropractor to prescribe certain exercises for strengthening the area around the bulging disc. There are certain exercises for the back and other exercises for a bulging disc in the neck. These are often one of the most important parts of recovery and prevention.
Can You Fix a Bulging Disc Without Surgery?
Most bulging disc cases can and should be treated without surgery. The fact is that with treatment, most herniated discs will heal within a few weeks. In some extreme cases, it may take a few months.
Even surgery cannot put the jelly-like compound of the disc back inside of it. What often happens is that the surgeon removes the substance from the area to stop it from irritating the nerve. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work, as detailed by the study above. Plus, surgery carries far more risk than conservative treatments like chiropractic care. Which begs the question of safety.
Is a Chiropractor Safe for Bulging Disc?
One study of Medicare patients aged 66 to 99 sought to find the risk of injury following a physician’s visit versus a chiropractic visit. In short, the study found that the risk of injury to the head and neck area among this group was 76% lower for chiropractic care than it was for a primary physician.
Another study looked at the risk of serious adverse events following chiropractic spinal manipulation. The authors obtained data from over 50,000 spinal manipulations and found no reports of serious adverse events. They rated the risk of adverse events low to very low for chiropractic spinal manipulations.
Can a Bulging Disc Get Worse?
A bulging disc can get worse without proper treatment. A bulging disc in the back can develop from occasional pain into chronic pain. If it continues to be ignored, it can cause permanent nerve damage. The possibility of nerve damage is important to consider, even if it is rare.
Patients with untreated herniated discs in the back find it hard to perform everyday tasks and may turn to dangerous opioids or other painkillers for relief. Unfortunately, this does nothing to treat the disc problem. Instead, it just helps provide temporary pain relief.
Luckily, treating a bulging disc without surgery or other invasive methods is entirely possible for most people. As the studies above show, chiropractic care is an ideal method for treating bulging discs in the back and neck. When combined with massage therapy and physical therapy, there’s a very good chance that you’ll experience relief quickly.
Chiropractor for Bulging Disc: Conclusion
Seeking chiropractic care for a diffuse bulging disc should always be the first course of treatment before surgery. Not only has chiropractic been shown to be effective in treating bulging discs, but it is also safer than invasive treatment options like surgery.
At Better Health Chiropractic, we’ve successfully treated thousands of Alaskans with bulging discs in the back and neck. And since we combine different modalities, we provide the most convenient treatment options around. We make things easy for you so you can get back to enjoying all that Alaska offers.
Contact us today to make an appointment or ask us any questions you have!