If you are experiencing lower back pain, it’s possible that it is being caused by a disc protrusion. Also commonly known as a bulging disc, a disc protrusion occurs when the outer fibrous wall of a spinal disc weakens and the inner gel-like contents of the disc push on the wall until it becomes misshapen. This, on its own, might not produce symptoms. However, disc protrusion treatment may be necessary if a nearby nerve or the spinal cord is pinched, resulting in pain and other symptoms that can radiate to other areas of the body.
This condition is most common in the lumbar spine (lower back area) because of constant bending and twisting and the amount of the body’s weight this area of the spine supports on a daily basis.
Treating a disc protrusion with physical therapy
Physical therapy is an important part of a conservative lumbar disc protrusion treatment plan. Its benefits can be twofold, as it can provide immediate symptom relief while also helping to strengthen the muscles supporting the spine to prevent future issues.
The following are some of the physical therapy treatments that can help alleviate lower back pain:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) — to reduce muscle spasms through stimulation
- Hot/cold therapy — to reduce inflammation and provide temporary pain relief
- Core exercises — to strengthen the muscles that help support your spine
- Massage therapy — to relieve muscle tension and spasms
- Stretching exercises — to help your body move more easily
You may also want to include over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections and alternative treatments in your regimen. Some popular alternative therapies include acupuncture, restorative yoga, Pilates and chiropractic manipulation.
When nonsurgical treatments don’t produce results
Many patients are able to successfully manage their symptoms and return to a normal, active lifestyle following several weeks or months of physical therapy and other treatments. However, if you haven’t found the level of relief you are looking for, you may want to consider minimally invasive back surgery at USA Spine Care. Our procedures utilize muscle-sparing techniques that enable many of our patients to be up and walking within a few hours of surgery.^
Contact USA Spine Care today if you would like to learn more about outpatient spine surgery as a disc protrusion treatment. We would be happy to provide you with a free MRI review* to help determine if you are a candidate for treatment.
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