What are the possible treatments for a bulging spinal disc?


Quick Answer

The most common treatment for a bulging disk as of 2015 is a course of pain medication and exercise, as well as avoiding positions that cause pain, according to Mayo Clinic. Additional physical therapy and, in rare cases, surgery are also possible treatments for this spinal condition.

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Full Answer

In cases involving mild or moderate discomfort, over-the-counter pain medicines such as naproxen and ibuprofen are often the first intervention for a bulging disk, states Mayo Clinic. If those do not work, the doctor may move on to nerve medications such as duloxetine, pregabalin or gabapnetin or even to prescription-strength codeine or oxycodone for a short period of time. Combining medication with therapeutic exercises, traction, ice or heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and bracing are more aggressive treatments.

For people who experience weakness, numbness, loss of bowel or bladder control or difficulty walking or standing after six weeks, surgery is an option, states Mayo Clinic.

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