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Bulging Disc

Your spine plays an integral role in your ability to move easily and efficiently. Discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae of your spine, are an essential part of this amazing and complex structure. A bulging disc can put pressure on nearby nerves that are rooted in your spine, causing pain in your back and throughout your body. At Latronica Chiropractic in Furlong, Pennsylvania, Dr. Albert Latronica strives to deliver first-rate chiropractic care to patients in the Bucks County area who are looking for long-term relief for pain caused by bulging discs.


Bulging Disc Q & A

by Albert Latronica, DC

What is a bulging disc?

Every disc in your spine is made up of two main parts: A tough outer exterior, and a soft gel-like interior. The job of the outer portion of the disc (the annulus fibrosus) is to help give the disc its complete range of motion. The soft, inner portion of the disc (the nucleus pulposus) helps make the disc an effective shock absorber.

Discs are affected by wear and tear as they age, often becoming dehydrated or stiff. If the soft fibers inside a disc tear, it can allow the soft spongy nuclear material to travel towards the disc’s exterior shell, causing the disc to bulge, or protrude, much like a hamburger that’s too big for its bun. The bulge may involve the disc’s entire perimeter, or just one side.

Why is it important to seek treatment?

Most people who have a bulging disc seek treatment because they’re looking for pain relief. That’s because a disc that pushes outside of its normal range can put a significant amount of pressure on nearby nerves that are rooted in your spinal column. Because these nerves branch out into the various parts of your body, you may feel pain in places that don’t seem to be related to a disc problem in your spine.

Aside from seeking pain relief, it’s important to treat bulging discs before they have a chance to herniate, or rupture. A herniated disc is one that has developed a tear in its exterior, allowing some of its gel-like interior to spill out through the crack. Herniated discs are generally more likely to cause pain, because they protrude further and can lead to nerve inflammation.

How are bulging discs treated?

The nerve compression caused by a bulging disc can’t be healed by prescription pain medications or muscle relaxants. It can be corrected, however, by improving spinal alignment and joint motion through gentle chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy. In fact, a combined approach using these natural and effective therapies has helped many patients find long-term relief.

Spinal decompression therapy is a state-of-the-art method used to treat both bulging and herniated discs. It involves the gentle stretching of your spine in a relaxed, controlled manner to allow the free flow of fluid and nutrients into the disc, which promotes healing. A single spinal decompression treatment lasts for about 20 minutes, and most patients need somewhere between 20 and 25 treatments, depending on the severity of the problem.

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