Back pain is common. It’s so common that 80% of people will experience it at some point in their lives. The pain can come from a plethora of reason including injury, illness, or natural degeneration of the human body that comes along with the aging process. Bulging discs are most commonly caused by the latter of the three. There isn’t anything you can do about getting older. As you do, your body goes through normal wear and tear processes from being used. The result for the discs found in between the vertebrae in the spine can be as mild as a bulging disc or it can be more severe and completely fracture off inside your body.
Bulging discs lead to symptoms from mild to severe pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the back. While some people’s issues will heal up and go away on their own, others require bulging disc treatment. With more and more people turning to natural, holistic approaches to medical care, the idea of how to heal a bulging disc naturally is being discovered as well. Find out what your treatment options are so that you don’t have to worry about having a potentially dangerous back surgery.
How Long Does a Bulging Disc Take to Heal?
Every person’s body is different, so there is no way to put an exact number on how long it takes for the healing process to completely be rid of the problem. However, just to give a general idea, the settling can take several weeks. Even after that takes place, it can be a total of six weeks or longer that a patient feels vulnerable and weak where the bulge occurred.
That brings you to your first treatment option which is no treatment at all. You can simply sit back and do nothing and the bulging disc will eventually take care of itself. It depends on how high your pain tolerance is and how bad the problem is. Some people get through their six weeks or longer without ever doing anything and make it out fine. However, others need something more than just waiting for time.
Bulging Disc Exercises
If your pain is really bad, you might be thinking that exercise is out of the question. Many people believe that the best thing to do to when they have injured their body is to just stay motionless until it gets better. While it’s a good idea to rest, your body actually is going to recover more quickly if you exercise it. You don’t have to do anything that is high-impact or high-intensity to be exercising either. Any of these can be beneficial to speeding up the recovery process:
- Elliptical trainers
When you are exercising, just remember to listen to your body. You are going to be the best judge when it comes to determining if you are trying to do too much too soon. If your pain gets worse while you are working out, take it back a notch or quit for the day. You can always try again the following day as long as you feel up to it. By trying to do too much, you’re going to re-injure your disc or cause the problem to be worse than what it was in the first place.
Heat and Ice Therapy for Bulging Disc Pain Relief at Home
In the decades past, if you were having a pain in your back or anywhere in your body, you would go to see your medical doctor. He or she would give you a prescription for a pain medication either over-the-counter or in the form of something you had to pick up at the pharmacy; most commonly opioids. Now, there is an opioid addiction epidemic sweeping the United States. Doctors aren’t as willing to hand out these drugs anymore, and people don’t really want them either because of the nasty side effects and the likelihood of getting addicted.
Heat and ice therapy is a great alternative to the dangerous chemical drugs that others are putting into their bodies. You can apply ice and heat in different ways to reduce inflammation and swelling that often leads to pain. There isn’t really any evidence as to which way is best when it comes to how you apply the heat and cold. Your best bet is to speak with your medical professional and get an opinion on your personal situation.
Did you know that some of the foods that you put in your body could actually be leading to further pain because of their inflammatory properties? For the most part, people don’t really think about this until after they have a condition where inflammation is a problem. Some foods that can make your pain worse include:
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Vegetable and seed oil
- Trans fats
- Processed meat
A good rule for bulging disc eating and just getting the proper nutrition is staying away from anything that is processed. There aren’t any health benefits to these foods and chances are they are only going to make your health decline more quickly in other areas as well. Instead, stick with these types of foods to treat inflammation from a bulging disc:
- Berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries)
- Fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchoives, sardines)
- Green tea
- Bell peppers and chili peppers
- Extra virgin olive oil
These foods aren’t just considered to be anti-inflammatory, but they also have the potential of reducing any existing inflammation that you’re already dealing with. It’s essential to eat a well-balanced diet anyway, so why not add these to your regular meal plan?
Physical Therapy for Bulging Discs
When you go and see your medical professional for treatment of your bulging disc, if that’s what you decide to do, he or she will likely recommend that you take part in physical therapy sessions to help with the healing process. You can also do this independently by making an appointment. Through physical therapy you will regain your flexibility and build and stretch your core muscles to help with pain symptoms. Additionally, they will give you exercises for your bulging disc that you can do at home to help in speed up the healing process as well.
This is extremely important if you spend a lot of time sitting behind a desk. Slouching or sitting unnaturally is going to slow down the healing process and might even intensify the pain. Instead, be mindful of your back being in a natural position. You also need to take breaks to stretch and walk around every 20 or 30 minutes to keep from your back, neck, and hamstrings from tightening up.
Make Sure To Get Enough Rest & Quality Sleep
For those people that have a hard time with sitting still, a bulging disc is going to come as a big roadblock in their everyday lives. Does that sound like you? If it is, you need to be aware that when you are dealing with this kind of a condition, you have to pump the brakes and slow down. Not forever, but for the time it’s going to take to get your body healed back up. Overworking those areas of your back is only going to cause more damage to an already injured body.
Sleep at night is just as important. This is the time when your systems go to work at healing and recharging so that you can get back to normal. For most adults you should be getting anywhere from seven to nine hours each night. It’s up to you to make this a priority in your life. When your bulging disc heals, you can easily get back to your more intense workouts and way of living if that’s what you want to do.
Chiropractic Care for Pain Relief and Treatment of Bulging Discs
If you want to stay out of the traditional doctor’s office completely, you can visit your nearest local chiropractor for bulging disc treatment and pain relief. Studies have been done on the efficiency of using chiropractic care instead of traditional methods for bulging discs proving their effectiveness. One such study showed that a man that was having pain for over two years from an athletic injury was healed within 90 days and there were no further symptoms when checked a year later.
When a chiropractor does an examination on your body, he or she is trained to look for anything being out of alignment along your spine and neck. For spinal discs that are out of place, they can preform manual adjustments to get them back to where they are supposed to be. There is no set way to correct a bulging disc, because all cases are different. Some of the adjustments that are routinely performed include:
- Muscle stimulation
- Stretches and exercises for at home treatment
While further research is needed on the natural treatment of visiting a chiropractor for bulging disc pain, there is enough evidence to give it a try and be safe it if you want to stick with natural methods for alleviating your pain.
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