An MRI or CT scan may identify the presence of a bulging (herniated) disc. However, diagnostic test results don’t necessarily determine the actual cause of your back pain or dictate your specific treatment options. Consider taking the following steps after being diagnosed with a bulging disc.
A herniated disc rarely requires immediate attention, so you’ll likely have time to make a decision when it comes to treatment options. The best thing to do after being diagnosed with a bulging disc is to find out as much as possible about your condition so you can actively participate in treatment decisions.
A herniated disc affects each person differently. When it comes to treatments, you may find relief from a few OTC or prescription drugs for a few months and end up turning to physical therapy or light exercise to provide additional relief when medication is no longer effective for you.
You can usually tell within a week or so if medications are providing relief. However, if you opt for massage therapy, it may take a while longer to see meaningful results. In order to help narrow down a treatment, your doctor may insist on trying one option at a time to determine a combination of treatments likely to work best for you.
As a general rule, doctors usually try conservative treatments (NSAIDs like ibuprofen, hot/cold applications, chiropractic manipulation) for about six weeks. After that point, more involved treatments like fusion surgery in Beverly Hills are often discussed.
At this point, it’s best to ask your doctor for a referral to a spine surgeon in the Los Angeles area who specializes in treating bulging discs. If you would like to request an in-person consultation for more information, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration at 310-828-7757 and schedule an appointment with world-class surgeon Dr. Hyun Bae. His extensive research and involvement in the latest clinical trials for the treatment of spinal conditions ensures that you will be provided with all viable options.