What is a Bulging Disk?
Before getting into how Physiotherapy for Bulging Discs helps you with pain relief, let us first understand what a bulging disc means. A case of bulging disc occurs when the spongy discs between the bones start becoming compressed and begin to bulge out. The spine is made of interlocked vertebrae that provide support to the spine and help your back to bend and move.
Between each vertebra, there is a soft tissue which is known as the spinal disc that acts as a protectant to stop the bones from rubbing against each other. The discs also have an additional responsibility to act as shock absorbers to prevent any damage during movement.
To help them perform, they are surrounded by a tough outer layer with gel in the middle and this gel may decrease with age. This leads to further compression and pushing out. When this disc bulges out, it may come in contact with a nerve and trigger pain. These bulging discs commonly occur at the bottom of the lumbar spine.
Please note, a bulging disk is different from a herniated disk. A herniated disk happens when the outer layer of the disk breaks down and the gel-like center leaks out through a tear in the disk’s outer wall.
What are the Symptoms of a Bulging Disk?
Before an effective diagnosis, it is important to understand the signs that may tell that we have a bulging disc. These are the symptoms you should be looking for before you decide to get physiotherapy for Bulging Disc:
Sitting might be accompanied by pain
Sitting is an activity that exerts a lot of pressure on your lower spinal disc, so if you do have a herniated or a bulging disc, this tremendous pressure within the spinal disc can cause the bulge to become more prominent and pronounced which is the possible reason for lower back pain when you sit.
Bulging Disc May Cause Sciatica or Radiating Pain Into Your Leg
Bulging disc is known to cause radiating pain in your leg, most commonly known as sciatica. This is caused because the discs in the lower back typically bulge in the posterior region and/or the side or lateral region which is quite close to your spinal nerve roots. This can affect your nerve roots in two ways. One might be direct compression which is when the disc’s bulge or leaking gel and inner content directly compress on a spinal nerve root as it comes out of the spinal canal. The second reason can be chemical irritation. This is when a bulging disc leaks out acidic or chemical irritants which causes inflammation near the area around the spinal nerve root. This alters the function of the nerve root and patients feel a burning pain along with weakness, sharp pain, numbness, and weakness along the front, or back area of their leg, thigh, and/or foot. This is what we commonly refer to as sciatica.
Specific Activities Causing Pain
The pain in the lower back may also worsen when you are performing certain activities like bending down or forward, lifting a heavy object, coughing, sneezing, or pushing or pulling a heavy object. This also includes lifting your child, your bag, or carrying your laptop as these may worsen your bulging disc.
How can Physiotherapy help with Bulging Disc?
Physiotherapy for the bulging discs has a lot of benefits for the lumbar bulging disc and it plays a very important role in the treatment. Physiotherapy has positive testaments from countless patients, as it gives excellent results without the heavy reliance on medications and the invasive risky surgical procedures. Your doctor will also highly recommend trying out physiotherapy first, before recommending surgery as mild to moderate cases are efficiently solved through physiotherapy without the need for countless doctor’s visits and consultations. Physiotherapy for bulging disc helps provide immediate relief for pain in the short term and can prevent flare-ups and recurrences in the long term. It also improves functionality, range of motion of the spine and can prevent painful experiences of sciatica, which is one of the leading causes of a bulging disk. The Physiotherapist assigned to you will have specific goals, techniques, and digital physiotherapy treatment options that can help you with your pain.
These are the benefits of physiotherapy for bulging disc:
- It helps strengthen core muscles which are important to support your spine, and helps improve your posture so that you enjoy sitting pain free, even for longer hours. Physiotherapy for lower back pain can also help provide sufficient support to your spine to improve core strength.
- The muscle spasms that are related to sciatica and the bulging disk are heavily reduced through physiotherapy for lower back pain through the use of electro-therapy. This type of physiotherapy uses ultrasound and currents to help reduce muscle spasms. The doctors also teach you exercises that you can practice by yourself, and keep the pain at bay.
- Physiotherapy for lower back pain through massage therapy and exercise helps relieve leg and lower back pain by stretching the muscles and reducing tension. Due to the fact that we are always in a sedentary state due to our busy lifestyle, it puts immense pressure on our lower back causing stress build-up. Through massage therapy and exercise, physiotherapy helps release stress build-up and thus reduces pain.
- Physiotherapy improves lower body mobility. Pain is quite restrictive as it reduces our range of motion and heavily reduces our functionality. Tasks that were easy before such as lifting and pushing become painful. Physiotherapy uses key muscular exercises, aquatic therapy, electro-therapy, etc to help bring back functionality and also revive your range of motion, thus increasing your independence. This is quite true for the elderly population as a reduced range of motion can highly affect their independence.
- Posture and motion can also be improved by Physiotherapy for Bulging discs. Posture is one of the worst aggravators of back pain as it puts pressure on the spine to support you in incorrect positions. Physiotherapy helps correct your posture in a sustainable manner that prevents pain recurrence in the long term.
- Physiotherapy helps to improve strength and endurance as well, especially in the core muscles of the body as many people discount the many benefits of core strength. The core muscles not only help in supporting and stabilizing your spine but weak core strength can be correlated to persistent back pain, poor posture, and muscular injuries that prevent you from regaining your functionality. Poor core strength can also be aggravated by a sedentary lifestyle that weakens the muscles of the abdominal wall. Physiotherapy for Bulging Disc provides you with enough exercises and therapy that you can inculcate in your daily life to prevent these causes.
At Phythealth, we have a staff of highly trained professionals who provide expert guidance and advice to help and support you to deal with causes like a bulging disc. We also have the option of online physiotherapy. Contact Phythealth for renewed strength and vitality!