Bulging Disc Chiropractors

Bulging Disc Chiropractors in Watkinsville & Athens

A bulging disc is another condition that affects the spine, and it’s very similar to a herniated disc. However, there are a few fundamental differences that make it a distinct problem. A bulging disc can be a major cause for concern.

What Is a Bulging Disc?

Let’s go back to the spine’s anatomy. As mentioned, the discs act as cushions between each vertebra. When the annulus ruptures, then you have a herniated disc. However, there are other things that can happen to the annulus as it degrades.


bulging disc chiropractor, xray of a bulging disc

bulging disc chiropractor


One of these is a bulge. Think of it like a deflating tire but without air escaping. The annulus is losing its elasticity, causing it push outward into the spinal nerves. This usually happens as we age or from spinal misalignment in younger individuals. This condition is usually lumped together with a herniated disc, but the way that it happens makes it different altogether.


Location of Bulging Discs

Any place where you’d find a disc is susceptible to bulging. However, the lower back and neck are more prone to it, due to how much they’re used in everyday movements. The lumbar spine is where most cases happen, since there’s added pressure on the discs from the weight of the upper body.

Causes of Bulging Discs

As mentioned, bulging discs are caused by the annulus losing its elasticity. This means that the higher your age or the longer you allow a misalignment to remain unattended to, the higher your chances of developing this condition.
It’s not as abrupt as a herniated disc; instead, the annulus sags slowly until the disc touches your nerves. That also means that symptoms can possibly have a gradual onset. You’ll start by seeing milder signs that eventually escalate into ones comparable to the severity of a herniated disc.

Signs of a Bulging Disc

Having a bulging disc will feel similar to a herniated disc, but there are several unique symptoms. For one, the onset of pain and numbness happens slowly, so you could experience tingling pain in your extremities that gradually become worse. Here are other signs to watch out for:her

  • Radiating pain that reaches the arms or legs
  • Numbness in the limbs
  • Back pain during certain activities
  • Electric shock-like pain during abrupt movements

Diagnosing Bulging Discs

The same thorough physical evaluation as well as other imaging and diagnostic techniques for herniated discs are used to diagnose bulging discs. The only difference is the larger scope, since the latter can affect several discs at a time:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan
  • X-Ray
  • Electromyogram
  • Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)

Best Options for Bulging Discs

Chiropractic care and other non-invasive procedures are usually the better choices for those who have bulging discs. Since symptoms can resolve without intrusive medical intervention, chiropractic care is the best way to quickly address them. These are also more affordable, tailored to each patient’s needs, and pain-free. Non-surgical spinal decompression may also help treat a bulging disc.

Bulging Disc Chiropractor

Once you have an official diagnosis, there are many chiropractic options available for the symptoms of a bulging disc. These include non-invasive and low force techniques and procedures like flexion-distraction, pelvic blocking and non-surgical spinal decompression. Bulging discs usually require fewer sessions when compared to herniated discs, but the results are promising when it comes to alleviating symptoms.

Herniated Discs VS Bulging Discs

These two conditions are often lumped together, but they are very different types of disc injury. Here are the key distinctions:
A herniated disc is caused by a ruptured annulus, while a bulging disc is caused by a sagging annulus.
Symptom onset from a bulging disc is gradual, while symptom onset from a herniated disc can be acute or sudden.
A herniated disc can result from a bulging disc, but a bulging disc cannot result from a herniated one.
Bulging discs can happen to several discs at once, while a herniated disc usually happens to only one.
Many people use the term "slipped disc" when referring to either a bulging or herniated disc, which is not a condition.

Choose Chiropractic Care for Your Bulging Disc

Issues with the spinal cord or spinal nerves are varied, whether it’s a herniated, or bulging disc. While there are many ways to approach their treatment, chiropractic care is arguably one of the best options. This approach uses more conservative efforts and practices, involving natural methods and no drugs.

Perhaps chiropractic care’s biggest advantage is that it’s non-invasive, so it’s generally safer than other medical treatment. It also addresses the source of the disc injury instead of just the symptoms. The result is most often long-lasting relief without the need for medication or surgery.

When looking for the best chiropractic experts in Athens, GA, turn to Chiropractic Works. We use holistic and clinically-proven approaches to various issues, offering herniated, and bulging disc treatments to qualified patients. With our personalized care and expert team, you’ll be on your way to recovery in no time. Learn about our approaches by watching these videos. You can also contact us to request an appointment or learn more information.


herniated disc chiropractor

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Chiropractors offer a variety of non-invasive treatments that heal disc injuries and alleviate symptoms of bulging discs and bulging discs.

The way we sleep can affect the vertebrae, ligaments, and tendons. When we sleep on our stomachs, this causes more pain in these areas, which is worsened by a bulging disc.

In general, a bulging disc can sometimes symptomatically improve on its own in six months or so, however this does not mean that the health of the disc has necessarily improved or that you may not ever need intervention down the road. For this reason it is a good idea to use conservative methods like chiropractic care early on so that you have the best opportunity for lasting results that are easier to manage as we move through life. Milder disc cases can sometimes improve in as little as four to six weeks. However, chiropractic care can also help speed this up.

There are many activities that can worsen your bulging disc and its symptoms. Avoid strenuous exercises, sitting too much, quick movements, and long periods of physically demanding work.

The most common indicator of a healing disc is relief from pain and discomfort combined with the ability to return to normal daily activities without exacerbating symptoms. Feelings of numbness or tingling will also start going away along with any other radiating symptoms.

Once a disc ruptures, there’s little to be done to bring it back to its original anatomical state. However,  symptoms can be easily managed long term with regular structural care along with diligent homecare and lifestyle habits, and you can often return to your normal life once everything has settled.

Start Your Recovery Today!

Our chiropractic team is ready to meet with you to discuss your needs. We will help to design a program that is right for you. We look forward to meeting you.

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