Above: Posterior bulging of discs into spinal canal
The treatment of bulging discs should be part of the everyday repertoire of any competent DC. How fast you respond is a function of the individual Doctor's skill set and experience.
When the small joints at the rear of the spinal column become locked up, or "ankylose" within their range-of-motion, the associated disc, or discs, may be forced to bulge towards either the spinal cord (or cauda equina) or the spinal nerve.
The locking up of these "facet" joints, is often associated with relatively severe inflammation of the tissues surrounding the bulging disc and this causes the nerve to send signals to the brain for pain.
Successful treatment requires that these joints be moved or "adjusted" to restore their normal range-of-motion, and simply get them moving again.
The frequency of treatment for the bulging disc will depend on several factors; e.g., the degree of bulge, the number of bulging discs, the age of the patient, the amount of time the patient waited to commence treatment , and the presence of and severity of any degenerative changes involved. (see degenerative discs).
Until age 30, one has a blood supply bringing water, glucose and oxygen to the tissues of the discs, and the spinal joints. From about 30 to 35 (on average), this blood supply dries up, and the discs, and by extension the synovial fluids dessicate (dry up)... this is the primary reason people lose height as they age.
As we said, the facet joints, like the discs themselves are affected by this drying up, and can develop a thickening of the synovial fluid in them which can cause them to "stick", resulting in bulging discs, herniations and worse.
If YOU have been told you have bulging discs, before you spend large amounts of money on flashy machines, or more invasive procedures, please bring your films to our offices for a personal consultation with Dr. Press.
All the symptomatic treatment in the world will never release the locked up joints. Massage, only relaxes the associated muscles, temporarily ... until the nerve irritation causes them to tense up again. Physio-therapy, can only treat symptomatically the inflammation and perhaps stretch the musculature with traction, but on standing up again, the locked up joints will immediately start to irritate the nerves.
Allopathic physicians can give you anti-inflammatories, pain killers, muscle relaxants, and steroids to stop pain when you are sitting on a nail. But for permanent relief, you need a Chiropractic Doctor to pull the nail out.