Eight of every 10 people are affected by back pain at some stage in their life, so it is important to know when to get professional help and when to help yourself. A bulging disc happens when the jelly-like substance inside of your disc begins to push outward. Typically, bulging discs are painful because they are applying pressure to the nerve. And while some bulging discs do need professional care, there are a number of home remedies for bulging discs.
Ice & Heat Therapy
The problem with the bulging disc is that it is inflamed and pressing on the nearby nerve. One way to find relief is to use ice to help reduce the inflammation. With any injury, blood is immediately sent to that area, which causes swelling and heat. Ice can reduce the swelling and numb the nerves for some relief. Keep the ice pack on the painful area for about 15 minutes. Then take the ice pack off for about an hour and repeat. Do this multiple times a day to experience relief.
Heat, especially wet heat, can be especially good for loosening tight muscles and removing cellular waste products, due to its assistance with increasing blood flow. While this will not actually treat or heal the bulging disc, heat may help treat the surrounding muscular tissues.
Exercise & Medicine
When pain won’t go away, it can be helpful to take moderate pain relievers such as acetaminophen, Ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. However, exercise and stretching can be more effective at providing symptomatic relief. Exercises for a bulging disc should focus on strengthening the surrounding muscles. They should be performed five times a day and should never cause any pain or increase the symptoms in any way.
Prone lying: Lay on your stomach on a flat surface and stay like this for 10 to 20 minutes.
Elbow prop: While lying on your stomach, slowly bring your elbows up and prop them under you.
Lumbar extension: While lying on your front, put your hands in a push-up position and slowly arch your back while straightening your arms. Stretch as far as you can without causing pain and return to lying down. Repeat 10 times.
Bridge position: Lie on your back with your knees bent, keeping your back in a neutral position and avoiding tilting your hips up too high. Then cough to activate the core muscles and hold the flex in your stomach. Take three deep breaths and return to the starting position. Repeat.
Additionally, yoga can provide symptomatic treatment for bulging discs, as it increases cellular oxygenation and increases strength and flexibility.
Preventing a re-occurrence of a bulging disc is important to keep in mind when recovering. Keep in mind to keep good posture at all times, use your core as well as proper lifting techniques and continue with appropriate exercise for strengthening and providing flexibility. Maintaining a body weight that is healthy will also help with preventing a bulging disc.