Spine Specialists and Exercise for a Bulging Disc

Question: How To Keep Discs From Bulging?

I have had debilitating lower back pain for two years. My MRI indicates I have bulging discs. My doctor recommended exercise, but that has not helped. What are some alternatives to keep my discs from bulging?

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Doctor’s Response: Consult a Spine Specialist; Develop an Exercise Program

Bulging discs in and of themselves are not necessarily painful. The discs may be generating your pain due to a lower back condition, such as degenerative disc disease, but you really need a more accurate diagnosis to identify your pain generator.

Depending on what is causing you pain, there are various treatment options. Consult a spine specialist, such as an orthopedic spine surgeon or a physiatrist. Treatment options for conditions such as degenerative disc disease may include medications, physical therapy, chiropractics, injections, and occasionally, surgery or other invasive procedures.

Your doctor is right in that exercise is an important component of your rehabilitation in almost all cases of back pain. However, doing the right exercises the right way is essential. I usually recommend working with a trained physical therapist to develop a home exercise program.

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In Spine-health’s Doctor Advice section, physicians respond to frequently asked questions about back pain issues. These responses represent the opinion of one physician, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the broader medical community. The advice presented has not been peer reviewed by Spine-health’s medical advisory board.

Written by Medical Reviewer