Can I See a Chiropractor For a Bulging Disc?

December 18, 2023

Back and neck pain should always be taken seriously.

Here’s why you should see a chiropractor first for bulging disc pain.


Most people have come to accept that a few aches and pains are a normal part of the aging process—especially pains in the back and neck. As a result, they tend to pop a few Tylenol and go about their daily routine as best as they can.

While the “take-two-of-these-and-call-me-in-the-morning” method may work fine for a minor muscle strain, it isn’t enough to treat a bulging disc.

In order to get to the root of this injury, you need to see a chiropractor for bulging disc pain.



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What Is a Bulging Disc?

The discs between each of your vertebrae are made of a soft, spongy material (the nucleus pulposus) inside an outer membrane (the annulus fibrosus). These discs are designed to act like a shock absorber and to reduce friction between the vertebrae when you bend and twist.

diagram of bulging disc putting pressure on nerve

However, when your spine experiences enough force, the nucleus pulposus can push against the outer layer, causing the membrane to “bulge” outward. If there is enough pressure or force, the annulus fibrosus may rupture, causing the nucleus pulposus to leak out. This is what is known as a herniated or slipped disc.

But even if your disc has not yet ruptured, that doesn’t mean that you’re out of the woods yet. It’s important to treat bulging discs as soon as possible to prevent them from herniating.


What Causes a Herniated or Bulging Disc?

Herniated or bulging discs are typically caused by stress, injury, or a combination of the two.

As you age, your discs can naturally start to thin and break down. As gravity pulls on your spinal column, this can cause the disc to bulge or even rupture. Overexertion, bad posture, or being overweight can speed this process up.

You can also get a bulging disc as the result of an injury, such as a car accident.

man at work desk holding back in pain

Symptoms of Bulging Disc

A bulging or herniated disc puts pressure on the nerve roots and spinal cord that run through the middle of each vertebra, sending pain signals throughout the body.

The exact symptoms you experience will depend on the location of your bulging disc, but some of the most common symptoms are pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling.

However, because your nerves branch throughout your body, these symptoms may not be felt in the spine at all (this is known as referred pain).


Treatment Options For Bulging Discs

Of course, if you’re living with the daily pain and discomfort of a bulging disc, your most pressing concern is how to treat it so you can get back to feeling normal again.

Most doctors recommend pain relievers (both over-the-counter and prescription), physical therapy, or injections to address pain and inflammation. More severe cases may require surgery to remove the bulging part of the disc (known as a discectomy).

However, neither of these options is without risks.

Even over-the-counter pain medications can cause liver or kidney damage, and stronger versions—such as opioids—can have extremely serious side effects. Similarly, surgery carries an inherent risk (not to mention cost) that many are eager to avoid.

Fortunately, there’s a more effective option to treat bulging discs.

chiropractor adjusting woman's neck

Chiropractor For Bulging Disc

Chiropractic care is a holistic form of treatment that looks at the entire musculoskeletal system as a whole and addresses your symptoms at the source so you can experience true, lasting pain relief.

Your first visit typically starts with an X-ray to diagnose a bulging disc and identify additional problem areas. The chiropractor will then develop a treatment plan catered to your specific condition.

Chiropractic treatment for bulging discs relies on multiple methods.

Studies have also shown that spinal manipulation is associated with a lower risk of future discectomy.



While no chiropractor can reverse a bulging disc, regular spinal adjustments can make such drastic treatment completely unnecessary.

If you’re living with chronic pain and discomfort, the experts at Oviedo Chiropractic can help.

Our friendly and knowledgeable team of chiropractors and massage therapists can help treat a wide variety of conditions, from herniated discs to scoliosis and more. We also have an X-ray and flexion distraction table in-house to help diagnose and treat you.

Schedule an appointment today and get back to living pain free.

Justin Cough

Dr. Justin Cough, D.C.

Dr. Cough graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, FL after receiving his BS in Education from SUNY Oswego. Before becoming a chiropractor, he coached many middle and high school sports teams including football, lacrosse, basketball, and soccer. He is passionate about focusing on our bodies' natural healing mechanisms and helping his patients enjoy the utmost sustainability in their lives.

For some, chiropractic offers relief from pain. For others, it's about feeling and looking good. Call today and see what chiropractic can do for you!

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