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How long can a bulging disc last?

A bulging disc is a common degenerative spinal condition that affects millions of Americans. Most often the result of the natural deterioration the spine due to age, disc bulges occur when a weakened spinal disc is placed under pressure and a portion of the disc extends beyond its normal boundaries. Many individuals with bulging discs never know they have the condition because there are often no symptoms. However, painful symptoms that interfere with daily life can develop if the disc bulge causes compression of a nerve root or the spinal cord.

Does a bulging disc last forever?

A bulging disc is one of the few spinal conditions that can actually improve over time if the pressure that caused the bulge is relieved through treatment. However, it’s also possible for a disc bulge to last forever, though that doesn’t mean you will be forced to endure painful symptoms. When followed for several weeks or months, there are conservative and alternative treatments that can help reduce nerve compression caused by a disc bulge, providing partial or total symptom relief. Some treatment possibilities include:

  • Chiropractic manipulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Hot and/or cold therapy
  • Periods of targeted rest
  • Massage therapy

Additionally, you may want to consider making lifestyle modifications that could improve your overall spine health. This could include eating a healthier diet, shedding excess weight, avoiding tobacco products, staying away from high-impact activities and limiting the amount of bending or heavy lifting you do.

When symptoms persist

If, despite your best efforts, you continue to experience pain and other symptoms after several weeks or months, it might be time to contact USA Spine Care. We offer minimally invasive surgery as a bulging disc treatment, and we can provide a free MRI review* to help determine if you are a candidate for our outpatient procedures. Contact us today if you would like additional information.

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