Q:

What is the treatment for a diffuse disc bulge?

A:

The treatment for a diffuse disc bulge depends on the bulge's location, the longevity of symptoms and the severity of symptoms. Bed rest, heat, ice packs and anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed, according to the Laser Spine Institute. Most physicians treat disc bulge symptoms conservatively and increase treatment as needed.

The majority of bulging disc cases are mild, and patients recover within a few weeks, notes the Laser Spine Institute. Doctors recommend refraining from strenuous activities like heavy lifting that put undue stress on the back. Some doctors give patients a cortisone steroid shot. The patient may be given instructions to perform easy back exercises to limber up the back muscles. However, some cases are more serious and require intensive therapeutic treatments, such as surgery, states the Laser Spine Institute. In these cases, the patient experiences severe pain and other debilitating symptoms.

Patients also have the option of trying alternative treatments for a disc bulge, notes the Laser Spine Institute. Alternative therapies include chiropractic, acupuncture and spinal decompression treatments. People over the age of 40 are more likely to develop a disc bulge, according to About.com. While some bulges cause discomfort, others have no symptoms. A physical examination is the best way to determine if a bulge is problematic.

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