Bulging Disc: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

 Likes  Comments

If you have ever experienced a bulging disc, then you know that it can be a painful and potentially dangerous condition, particularly if the disc eventually herniates. It is critical to understand the details of the condition, as well as the causes, symptoms, potential treatments and warning signs when you should visit a doctor.

Bulging Disc Treatment

There are quite a few effective treatment options for a bulging disc, such as lifestyle changes, ice, pain relievers, stretching, exercise regimens, steroid injections, weight loss, surgery, and laser therapy.


Often the most simple solution is the best one; ice can reduce inflammation surrounding a bulging disc, which can ease pain and help the disc return to its normal area.

Pain Relievers

Ibuprofen and aspirin are often recommended to relieve the discomfort and pain of a bulging disc or to reduce the inflammation in the back that is causing stiffness.


Doing more stretching before your daily activities or more strenuous needs is essential. This will keep the muscles in your back warm and increase the flexibility of your spine, which could help ease some of the tension and pressure on the bulging disc.

Steroid Injections

Many people choose steroid injections to stimulate healing in the affected area and to overcome the inflammation and discomfort caused by the disc.


 In roughly 10% of cases of a bulging disc, non-operative approaches simply won’t work, and to avoid the risk of eventual herniation, surgery will be performed. While this can be an effective approach, open surgery on the spine does pose many risks, and the recovery time from the procedure can be extensive.

Laser Therapy

One of the newer options for treatment, laser therapy can help to reduce the inflammation surrounding a bulging disc without invasive surgery, significantly reducing the risk to the patient at a lower cost, and with similar effects.

Lifestyle Changes

If your lifestyle demands that you put a strain on your back, such as athletic responsibilities, professional duties or even childcare (lifting and setting down an infant), you should try to mitigate the impact of these activities on your body. If you don’t rest and remove yourself from the risk factors that caused the disc to bulge in the first place, there is little chance of reversing the progression of the disc.

Exercises for Bulging Disc

Some of the best exercises for people with a bulging disc include walking, press-ups, Pilates, swimming, bridging, and the avoidance of impact exercises.


 Non-impact exercises like walking are highly recommended, rather than running or playing more organized sports.


 Pilates and yoga are two excellent options if you are suffering from a bulging disc. These stretching-oriented practices will improve your flexibility and lower inflammation in your spine.


Another low-impact exercise, swimming works all of your body’s muscles, but puts almost no pressure on the spine while doing so!


Lie on your back, knees bent and kept hip-width apart. Then, raise your buttocks until you form a straight line on your spine and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat this 10 times per day.


Lie on your stomach in a push-up position, then lift yourself up, keeping your pelvis and hips on the floor. Hold this for 10 seconds and repeat 10-12 times per set.

DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 4.3 out of 5.0 based on 5 user(s).