Bulging Disc Treatment Brisbane

If you’re reading this then chances are you’re in a lot of pain. You either suspect you have, or have been diagnosed through medical imaging scans- a bulging disc. Treatment is important, but having an understanding of the process helps to deal with the pain.

The term “bulge” to describe this process is often interchanged with “herniated”, “prolapsed” or “slipped”. They all mean the same thing, that being, the material between your vertebrae has moved from where it should be and is now pinching/compressing one of your spinal nerves as it exits your spinal canal/cord.

If this sounds too confusing, allow me to paint an analogy I often use with my patients… Think of a Jam Doughnut. The whole thing is a simple way to represent a typical spinal disc. The jam centre represents the soft centre of your disc, known as the “Nucleous Pulposus”. Don’t get caught up on the name- just think of the jam being squeezed out of the doughnut onto the garden-hose (your pinched spinal nerve) putting a kink in it that stops the water (nerve impulses) travelling to the garden (your muscles & skin).

You’ve all put a kink in a graden hose before, right? Well the water stops when you do this just the same way the nerve impulse stops running through the nerve properly and your muscles’ function and sensation in areas supplied by the compressed nerve are affected.

Lets say you have a C5/C6 bulging disc causing compression of the C6 nerve. C = Cervical = neck vertebrae. 5 = the fifth vertebrae from the top and 6 is the sixth.. Anatomy is simple once you know! The C6 nerve supplies skin sensation on the thumb side of your forearm and muscles that flex your elbow and wrist, like the biceps. So you could expect to have pain and weakness in the bicep and tingling or numbness in the forearm.

The same is true if the bulging disc is in your low back or lumbar spine. Only this time the muscles that are affected with pain and weakness are in your legs and feet and the change in sensation in your skin is also in that same area.

Myths – Do’s – Don’ts

Myth – 1:  You can get your “disc put back in” if you see the right person. This is complete rubbish. Please do not listen to anyone who says they can put your bulging disc “back in”. When I hear of patients heading off to see some quack who claims he/she can do this- I cringe. I challenge you to put the jam back in the doughnut after you’ve squeezed it out! Impossible, right?!  Same is true of a bulging disc- can’t be done. I will tell you what can be done to limit your pain so read on.

Do – 1: If you haven’t already- get some scans, either Cat-Scan or MRI. If I was under the age of 50, I’d go for a MRI because there’s no radiation. Excessive radiation causes cancer and in my opinion, we are exposed to enough of it without choosing to be exposed to more when you have a less radio-active choice (MRI). You can see an Osteopath or your GP for this. It costs you the same. Information is education and when battling this problem, having a good understanding of what is exactly going on, helps. Scans allow for greater understanding and they allow your osteopath to tailor your specific rehab and teach you what you can expect to happen during your bulging disc treatment.

Don’t  – 1: If your bulging disc is in your low back then Don’t sit for longer than 20mins at a time. You can push the jam harder out of the doughnut if you do causing you greater pain and loss of function. If you do need to sit for work then prop your spine to be as straight as possible, with a pillow or cushion in your low back to support the normal inward curve.

Do – 2: Have some anti-inflams and pain killers at the ready. There’s going to be times when you’ll need at least some pharmacy products to help take the edge off. Start with over -the-counter products such as Panadol and Neurofen/Voltaren. If this isn’t enough- time for a visit to your local GP for some stronger meds.

Don’t – 2: Don’t freak out. Depending on the severity of your bulging disc you will be in pain for some time..not forever. Getting results with a bulging disc can take time to determine the most appropriate course of action- but you will get there. Just find yourself a good Osteopath (I would say that:-) and a good GP who will guide you back to full recovery.

Myth – 2: Rest. Noooo. Resting makes pain worse! Seems illogical but it’s true. Be sensible of course. Going and riding your mountain-bike off road for 2 hours is obviously not smart but find the “low-Impact” middle ground. Water walking and even jogging in water is a great option.

Do – 3: Always remember- Core is King. If you happen not to know what your core is- think of your abdominal muscles wrapping around your mid-section like a corset. When you contract/tense the core, it helps take a great deal of pressure off your spine by distributing the weight through the core/corset. One of the main reasons we are susceptible to bulging discs is due to the fact that our entire upper body (60% of the body’s mass) is sitting on a vertebrae half the size of your fist. The only other support this vertebrae has is your core musculature.  And it only works when you decide to contract it- this is a concious process- not like the unconcious contraction of your heart muscle, you actually have to decide to switch your core “on”. If you are new to this concept- then you will need to be shown.  For everyone else- remember that a spine only gets injured when you change body position. Bend, lean, stoop etc. So when do you contract your core??  Exactly! Whenever you change body position!

Do – 4: Do get some bulging disc treatment. Yes, I have said that you shouldn’t believe anyone who says they can put your bulging disc “back-in” BUT this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get treatment. When your disc bulges it irritates many muscles in the spine around the bulge and this can cause your body to become compensated in many other areas, increasing the overall pain and level of impact on your ability to function normally.

Remember- your disc can remain bulging and even show signs of nerve compression and you MAY NOT feel any pain. That’s right- many people walking around normally and in no pain have bulging discs sitting on nerves.  For some reason however, they are not in pain. My theory is that their sleeping giant (bulging disc) is not being irritated through poor habits of posture, sitting, bending, etc.  Through appropriate and effective hands-on treatment and rehabilitation programs, many of you can achieve this state of relative comfort too.

Do – 5: Call your GP immeadiately of you have numbess or loss of sensation in the saddle (perineal) area or change in urinary or bowel habit- retention or loss of control.  In this case your bulging disc in the low back may be pinching a nerve essential to the proper on-going function of these areas and emergency spinal decompression is required. Again- this is why everyone who suspects they have a disc bulge should get scans and should see their osteopath. Professionals are trained to spot these warning signs.

There are many other things you should be doing and shouldn’t for that matter, but these are some of the more important ones that I recommend. Remember- you don’t have to suffer in silence with a bulging disc- much can be done to improve your symptoms and send the Giant back to sleep!

Give me a call anytime if you’d like to know more about bulging disc treatment, or just drop into the clinic in Stones Corner.

Enjoy the journey!



Ps: Please feel free to leave comments and ask questions. I will answer your questions to the best of my knowledge (and as soon as I can) but will respond privately to the email attached to your comment to allow for a level of privacy.

The comments that you leave will be viewable by all, (if appropriate) and I hope some of your shared journey will give hope to others suffering similar pain. In my opinion, knowing that we are not alone in our personal struggle in life is a huge part of winning the battle, so I thank you all for sharing your story.

If you would prefer to contact me privately, please visit the website contact page and leave a message there.



Here’s a link to an interesting video on how to avoid body postures that create dangerous intra-disc pressure. Just copy and paste this link into your we browser.

Great video of how body postures create increased pressure on your discs: click here! So avoid them where possible.


PPS: Oh, and if you gained benefit from what you’ve read just now, please feel free to “Like”, “Tweet” and “Share”. Thanks again.

60 Responses to Bulging Disc Treatment Brisbane

  1. I have been recently been told that I have a bulging disc. I don’t have the pain in the back area but in the hips, pelvic area and at night I find it hard to fall asleep, my hips, knees and even ankles hurt at night in bed.
    Is this usual?

  2. Hi Anthony

    Would like some advise I have a bulge near my C6 t1-t2 ish , I’m with a Chiro at the moment who’s taken XRays. I see a remedial massage at least twice a month, this has been going on for at least a month and half now. I am very active training in the gym 6 days a week, the pain is extreme but I train around it and medicate when it’s at it’s worste. Just wanting to know what else I can do to help the healing process, I use fish oil , glucosamine with msm etc to try and get the inflammation down but doesn’t seem to do much at the moment .

  3. Hi,

    I have a twisted pelvis which causes pain in the lower back and sometimes the sacrum. I have been told my SI joint is out, but not sure if that’s true. I have orthotics in my shoes which helps a bit with walking.

    You helped my husband last year with his back problem, so wonder if you could help me too. I’ll call tomorrow for an appointment in case you don’t see this.


  4. Hi mate,I have a bulging L3 I think it is but Im in no pain and have been strengthening my core with a fit ball,your right exercise does help,my question is does the bulge ever go away,Im trying to get my Dr to clear me for pre injury duties but the MRI tells him its still a bit swollen,very frustrating indeed

  5. Hi,
    Where do I start, for about 10 months now I have had what you call a chronic back pain where the pain is in my hips, buttock and lower back. I’ve had x rays, CT scans and they have shown nothing, my back seems to be fine. I have been to a number of chiro’s and osteopaths you can poke a stick at, but no one that has made any sense and I think the care factor is a tad low. I’m seeing a chiro now and he is starting to make sense saying I have a bulging discs but its bulging back into my spine which you can’t see it on scans except if I get a MRI which he thinks it will show up. He is treating me with traction therapy ( by stretching my spine) which seems to be working ( for 3 weeks) until last night I have had a little hick up but not as bad as normal when my back seems to go to crap. I guess what I’m asking is what do I do now I have read your articles and you seem to make alot of sense, do I go to my doctor and request to get a MRI?

    • Hi,

      I had a fall at work 4 months ago, at first work doctors said it was muscle soreness and that sometime the brain can make us feel more pain. After 2 months my physio finally said I needed a MRI, once done they found a prolapsed dics c5-c6 which is pushing on my spinal cord. I went to see a neurosurgeon and he sent me for nerve root blocks, it did help for about 2 weeks. I am now waiting to see the neuro surgeon to see if surgery is necessary.
      I have lots of trouble sleeping, I wake every 2-3 hours really stiff and having to crawl out of bed, I then sleep in an arm chair till that’s to painful. I have troubles standing for long periods, sudden movements sometimes cause sharp pains to go thru my neck to my arm pit. Sometimes when my arm is bent my arm starts shaking only that arm will shake. I don’t have serve pain but it does become irritating, so I stretch ect.
      I am seeing a physio and currently on light duties from work.

      I just want to be able to continue my career but it involves heavy lifting ect.

      Also I want to look at allay options before surgery..

  6. Hi a close male friend of mine has has numbness in his right leg ‘quad’ made him go and get scans and he has bulging disc he Is a PT but a typical male who hates doctors what’s the best treatment it’s been a wk and he still can’t feel his leg?

    Kelli Dilleen

  7. Hi, I have a bulging disk in the L4 L5 area and I suffered a lot from pain for the first 4 months , had difficulties urinating and very sever pain , thanks to some pain killer and some streching and back to gym on one leg forcing myself walking and doing exercices got back in shape after 1 year , but still having some little pain in my leg from the sciatic nerve while bending down for more then 4 month but stil can play many sport activities specially my favorite sport volley ball , just wana ask for how long I’m gona still feel that pain in my left leg , thanks

  8. Hi Anthony,

    Thank you for all this info! It has helped greatly.

    I have a history of back pain. I had cortisone injections in my lower back last september which helped a lot. However due to lifting (hair and makeup kit) I noticed my left foot feeling numb and tingly recently along with low back pain and terrible sciatica. I’m on my feet with many long days standing doing hair and makeup.
    I went to my GP at first point of call and he has put me on Lyrica and I just wanted to know if this is the best medication for me to be on?

  9. Thanx, I’ve been diagnosed with a bulging disc by a GP from a work injury and they have sent me home to rest for a week but I feel I should be doing something to fix it or repair the problem to stop the pain and get on the road to recovery, the GP did say not to just lay around and to do little bits at a time determined on the pain but reading this has given me a better understanding of the injury and a bit of a timeframe to recovery which is reassuring to know. It is alot worse in the morning and if I sit or stand for to long it seems to lock up and gives me great pain to move from that position, so its a constant battle to be comfortable but there is an end to this so thanx for the info.

  10. I have just read your item on Bulging Discs. You have put my mind at ease. I am 66yrs and have had this terrible problem now for about 4/5 months. I have been having Western Accupuncture for the past 5 weeks and I don’t think it is any better. The needling was so painful. Sometimes I have no pain until I stand then I get the pins and needles and bad pain in my right leg and shin and not as bad but some in my left shin. I have sat a lot in the past, more so since I lost my husband 4 years ago and I semi retired. I will re- read your article and follow your suggestions to try ease my pain. I have been going twice a week to physio and I cannot afford this at $69 a session. Thank you again, I feel so much better knowing that this is not a permanent thing, although it has felt like it. Have a great day – Sharyn

  11. Hi. I had my bowen therapist 4 months ago say get an X-ray you have something no right when the physio I was also seeing for a sore back said I was ok. X-ray and CT said lower compression and bulging disk. My dr wants me to get a epidural and kortozone injection. That is a last resort! I am having Bowen and ciro appts every week. But some days good with some pain and this weekend just can not walk without major pain. On homeopathic tablets, turmeric and flaxseed oil every day. Tens machine when needed. some one said Chiro is not good but Physio. But the Physio I was seeing did not think I had a real problem and I was not improving. What else can I do. I live in a regional town and limited specialists. Should I get my dr to refer me to an Osteopathy and what can they do as I have to travel some 1600km to see one.

  12. Hi you are dpot on i have two bulgling discs wow never exp pain like it . its my left side that hurts numbness down leg i cant sit propley i have deep tissue masage it was hell .. cant sleep .. but i have found ice helps.. im thinking of acupuntre?.. How long can this last..

  13. Hi, Anthony I have got disk bulg in l4,l5 n giving me pain in my right leg and right arm. I found after my baby birth and now he is 17 mons but pain is still there. I cannot work or take care my son properly. Please advice . I was thinking it not gonna recover its for my whole life.

  14. I’m only 19 years old (female) and I suffer from disc bulges.
    My first sign was extreme lower back pain and I had a muscle spasm and had to go to hospital as I couldn’t move, at this point we had no idea it was disc or even spine related. It was the worst pain I have ever felt. I attended physio and they predicted it was disc related but at this point I hadn’t gotten a scan.
    A few months later when we thought I was all healed, I joined a gym and started working out. 6 weeks into this and I was experiencing tingling numbness in my legs and feet. I didn’t link this to the disc bulge until my doctor said that’s what it could be and I remember thinking “Here we go again…” So joining the gym backfired for me. I was doing too much too soon and it only aggravated the disc further.
    I soon had an MRI that proved I had disc bulge in L3-S1 and also in T12. There is a minor tear in T12 and also disc dehydration is present.
    So I haven’t been back to the gym since but I have been swimming and doing bilateral breathing (freestyle) and I haven’t had any pain since. Only sore arms from swimming! Swimming helps strengthen the back muscles. (and every other muscle in your damn body I reckon!)
    I do plan to go back to the gym soon to do light exercises, core strengthening and some cardio work. but nothing to intense as of yet.
    I also lightly bounce on an exercise ball for 5 minutes a day which I hear is good for the discs.
    I highly recommend swimming and in particular bilateral breathing and walking in the water to everyone suffering with disc bulge! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
    I plan to make swimming part of my every day lifestyle from now until forever. I never want to experience the horrible pain of an awoken giant disc(s) ever again.

  15. Hi Anthony,
    I really enjoyed reading your site.
    A while back I was injured and subsequently suffered bulged discs at C5 and C6 level, one bulge pushing against nerve causing severe pain in my neck, left back and shoulder, and down my left arm; another bulge on the inside of the disc pushing against my spinal cord but no pain/symtoms.
    I have had an X-ray and MRI to confirm injury. For the first 4 or 5 weeks I have not experienced any worse pain! Unbelievable!
    I have been on strong pain killers but not anymore. I have had a nerve root injection, which seemed to help the pain reduce.
    I am no longer in pain but am very stiff and am still guarding the neck area.
    I have been off work for 12 weeks and have just returned to work on restricted duties part time, whilst seeking physio treatment.
    Thankfully I am getting better, SLOWLY.
    My question/s are…
    Will I ever be 100% fixed? (or will this always be a weekness which I will have to live with and adjust my lifestyle?)
    Will the bulges go away? (completely or partially or not at all?)
    I am only in my thirties and very active. I am a regular at a gym doing cardio and lifting weights. I have a hands on job and a hands on lifestyle.
    Thanks again.

  16. Hi there. I have been having major neck pain for well over a year and FINALLY was able to convince my GP that I wasn’t making it up (after trialling chiropractor,massage, and physio). He did X-rays, which obviously showed nothing, and after crying in his office and begging, he referred me for an MRI in July. I JUST got the results this week after calling every week, and it turns out I have TWO bulging discs. C5/6 to the left and C6/7 to the right. I don’t have the classic numbness and weakness, although this does happen sometimes. Mostly I feel the pain in my neck, and I have VERY omitted movement of it. I knew I had the one bulge, but knowing there is one on each side explains the bilateral symptoms. ANYWAY..long story short, my dr has told me that nothing can be done. I find this very hard to believe and at 32 y/o I am not ok only being able to move my head about 3 inches. Any info or help you could give me would be very much appreciated. I try not to let it get to me, but I am still relatively young and thinking that this could be long term is very depressing. Thank you again in advance.

  17. Hi Anthony,
    I am wondering if you could help me… Back in August as I was taking down a suitcase from the overhead compartment on a plane with my right hand I felt like I pulled a muscle in my arm (bi-cep area) as I took it down. I left it for a while thinkin if would come right but it didnt. I mentioned it to my physio & he did some work on it for few weeks but as I was not getting any relief he suggested I go for an MRI as he thought the problem was a disc in my neck touching off a nerve which was going into my arm. The MRI result said there was a slight protrusion on the C5/C6 disc on the left side yet the pain was on my right? I decided I would go for acupuncture but this also did not help after 4 sessions. It still continues to give me pain so I am just wondering would an Osteopath be my next port of call to help with this problem or what would you recommend? Thanks in advance…

  18. Hello ~ I was just told by my neurologist that a recent MRI showed 3 bulging neck discs. He said because the spinal cord itself was not being compressed, there was nothing he could do. He didn’t refer me to anyone else, just said nothing to be done. Because of the amount of pain I’m in, I can only assume that a nerve root is being compressed. When I was younger, all I had to do was start lifting light weights regularly, and the pain went away. Now, it radiates in a triangle from my neck to my shoulder and down to the inside of my shoulder blade when using even the lightest of weights. Might I benefit from injections to the nerve in order to build muscle back up to better support my neck? At the moment, the pain gets so bad that it’s affecting my enjoyment of life … I want to be proactive. What can I do?

  19. Hi Anthony, could you please take the time to explain to me, in layman’s term, the following: paracentral/foraminal disc protrusion with annular tear causing foraminal stenosis. And a broad base bulge causing central canal stenosis and left foraminal stenosis. I would greatly appreciate it, thanks, Keri

    • Oh, I forgot to ask, what route of treatment should I undergo for the above mentioned …. thanks for your explanation of bulging discs, much appreciated! Keri

  20. Hi Anthony
    Have just read some of your information relating to budging disc.
    Have a few issues my self, if you wouldnt mind answering if possible.
    I have pinched nerve in my c4/ c5, compression fractures, norrowing , scoliosis
    Of the thorasic and lumbar. These have been treated with pain mediactions
    For the last 4 yrs. Now in the last month i have a work related injury . Bulging of
    My L 6/S1 with quite a lot off pain. Also being treated with pain meds and antiflam.Im still working , very reluctant to take time off
    Have a referral to neuro surgeon, will start hydro therapy this week. Whats your
    Best adive for me at this time give limited amount of information ive give.
    Would appreciate any help .
    Thank you

  21. Hi Anthony,
    Six months ago I coughed and after a firework sensation in my right arm developed reduced sensation in my outer three digits, my thumb and forefinger are normal. Approximately one month later, the same occurred in my left arm with a burning hot/cold sensation to my elbow. Again, about a month later, the same occurred in my left leg and after a short time I also noticed reduced sensation in my right leg. At this point I attended my GP who referred me for an MRI of my C Spine which a has shown a significant protruding disc impinging on the spinal cord, C5-C6. I am scheduled for surgery next week. I don’t have significant pain, just what feels like tired shoulders and reduced sensation/tinging bilaterally in both legs and arms, the left side being worse than the right. In recent weeks I have noticed the same reduction in sensation across my abdomen and and lower back. My lower back has now become stiff. My question is: is it possible my symptoms are all related to the C5-C6 disc.

  22. G’day Anthony, I am 38 I work as a fitter and have just been diagnosed with a budged disk in my lower back. My question is will this prevent me from working or is it a part of life that you learn to live with it

  23. hi, i have three buldging discs and one compressed disc, in my lower back, i have severe pain in my lower back and have for nearly seven years. i have in the last year startedto suffer from severe pain in my hips knees and ankles, i have regular sleeping patterns of only about hours a night as the pain is to severe.
    Am unsure which path to follow as have seen many doctors and most are just stumped.

    thanks Summer

  24. Hi Anthony

    I have recently had an MRI and told I have a protruding disc at C5 which is pressing on the nerve. I dont have arm pain but I do have bad stiffness in my neck to the point where sometimes I need to use both arms to assist in turning my head with my neck to turn over.
    this has been going on for 2 years since I “put my back out” carrying my daughter after she lerched forwards. I initially had massage and acupuncture which made it worse, then cupping then rest, then osteopath. I got relief from the osteo but found that as soon as I did anything for any length of time like clipping the hedges, painting (I was careful to stay at shoulder height as much as possible). I find that when I am moving around I am fine, but sitting still is a killer! I am taking neurophen about twice a day, mostly at night. I find that when I turn sometimes, there is a pinch, not all the time though. I try to stretch and have stayed away from overhead weight machines at the gym. Mostly walking again now. Any suggestions? I want to avoid surgery but don’t want to be stuck on painkillers permanently. thanks for any help you can give

    • Firstly thank you for taking the time to write this article and also for the time in answering questions posed. I have recently been diagnosed with a prolapsed disk at the C5/C6 and have weakness through my right chest,arm and back. I have regularly gone to the gym but have been unable to for the last 7 weeks. After 2 weeks on prednisolone the pain has subsided but weakness remains as well as a tightness across the right shoulder. Having been active for so long it is very hard to remain still and also disheartening with the loss in strength/ability to exercise. Is a full recovery possible and any advice in order to achieving this would be appreciated.

  25. Hi,

    Underwent MRI and the results say that I have stenosis due to bulging disc in S1. The neurosurgeon says that I should undergo surgery to decompress the bulging discs. But I am not inclined to surgery as it costs much. I used to have pain the right lower limb but the pain now has decreased and what’s left are numbness on my foot, and weakness in some parts, like the sole and the toes — both legs but more of the right. My walking is no longer normal — but can still walk. Thank you for the medical information. God bless.

  26. Hi there, for the past 7 or so months my mum has had pain in her neck and we found out last weak it was from a bulging disk. the doctor says he doesn’t want to operate and so he prescribed her panadol osteo which hasnt helped at all. Shes in so much pain all the time and I just want to know what the best thing would be for us to do to give her some relief. thankyou.

  27. Hi Anthony ……im 33 years old started with a back an sciatica pain 2 years ago been managed with yoga and chiro ….i am over weight and trying to lose weight and get fit prior to plan a second pregnancy as i have one boy 5 yrs old …i should say my back is much better now and the sciatica is gone but i do get a pain some time if i get tired ….im so consern a bout a next pregnancy with a bulging disc and thinking should i avoud it or its could be ok can i have a natural birth could the bulging disc get herinated ???? all these qs are in my mind i will love to get some answers from you ..by the way my l5s1 disc have a small tear and bulg …thanks

  28. Hi Anthony.

    3yrs ago I had a disectomy for an anterior bulging L5/S1, which did not resolve my pain (sciatic pain down right leg and major lower back ache), 5 months later I had a spinal fusion of that area done. I still have major back ache and sciatic pain issues that even after 3 yrs of physio/ oesteo treatment hasn’t resolved.

    I know have an anterior bulge on C5/C6 and the vertebrae has moved towards the spinal column by a few mm. I have sensory changes to my 1st 3 fingers on the right arm, an aching pain down my tricep and a ball of fiery pain from my spine mid shoulder range out toward the right shoulder blade. I have an MRI scan that supports the bulge, however I have seen a neurologist who says its not neurological, a GP who doesn’t know what to do next and an oesteo who is almost too scared to touch me in case he breaks me.

    I have been on Lyrica, tramadol,, oxynorm, OxyContin, Valium and a variety of other drugs for 3 yrs. non of which keep the pain away, but can manage it if I keep myself relatively quiet (not an ideal scenario in today’s world). After 3 yrs I have just returned to work, however, am not coping too well coz of the pain and because I can’t get my hand/arm to do what I need them to do, such as writing, holding/lifting etc.

    Your opinion as to what to do next would be appreciated.

  29. Hi!Anthony,I’m going through pain with disc bulge and left hip.Putting on socks is hard sometimes,I manage to do my walking with pain sometimes,especially when I turn.I have been off work for a month and half.Due to restraints by Dr.,I wasn’t allowed to start 4 hr 1wk,6 Hrs 2Wk,8hrs 3wk schedule.I’m taking Naproxen now.Any advise for me to get back to my full time work?Thanks

  30. Hi, I am a 36 year old female and I had decompression surgery just over 18 months for a massive disk prolapse at L5-S1 which was causing Cauda Equina Syndrome. I then developed a meningocele from a spinal fluid leak which I had for about 5 months and healed without surgery. ( I was reluctant to have surgery again due to the risk of infection). I have not been symptom free since the surgery. I have pain and numbness in both legs and wake with terrible muscle spasms in my calves and feet. My right calf feels as though it is twisted, I am in constant pain and it is starting to get the better of me.. I have just had another MRI which has shown that the original L5-S1 disk (what is left of it) is now bulging again. I am now terrified to cough or sneeze as this was how the original injury happened. What are my options, can i ever return to a normal pain free life? I am under the impression that a lot of my leg/foot pain and numbness is permanant nerve damage as the decompression surgery was not performed within the 48 hour window that is recommended for Cauda Equina. (I also have some slight bladder/bowel dysfunction as a result of this).I am still working, not full time, just 3 x 5hour shifts a week. Should i take some time off work and try and resolve my injury? Thankyou for your time.

  31. Hi Anthony –
    I have had CT Scan on abdomen due to waking on average at
    3am EVERY night. The pain was diagnosed as referred pain from
    2 bulging discs in my lower back. I also have pain in my left hip and sometimes groin.
    I swim twice a week, walk for 30 min every morning and do Pilates once a week all to try and improve core strength. I also get regular massage but physio doesn’t seem to help.
    I have a seated job but try to move often.
    My back pain is mostly non existent during the day but wakes me at early hours of morning.
    I had a microdisectomy 3 years ago.
    Through lack of proper sleep this is affecting me hugely.
    Thank you for your help.

  32. Hi,

    I have recenlty had an MRI scan and I have a moderate circumfrenential bulgding at L4-5 worse than L5 S1 level without any involvement of bothe nueral foramia.I have been told by my GP it is not serious and been recommeneded to physiotherapist but the appointment is taking too long.so I would like see your advice in this case as this is effecting my heels as well now I think it is plantar fascitis as all the symptons match but I do not remember having this problem before my back injury which occurred at the gym.

    So can you suggest what I should do in terms of stretches and if I should carry on going to gym and if I can which exercises am I allowed to do and if you can recommend some remedies to improve my state and how long this can take for me to recover as my back is in pain constantly and my both my heels are always in pain and the right leg heel is at worst as I can feel while I’m walking whereas the left heel is slighlty better.

    Many thanks

  33. hi how are you.i have just found out that i have a small disc protusion at C3/4,just impinging on the front of the dural sac.there is also a small left paracentral focal disc protusion at C4/5 also just impinging the on the front of the dural sac and slight posterior disc bulging is present at C5/6. im in alot of pain just under my neck and im getting numbness and pins and needles slightly in my left fingers.im really scared as i have a family and i will do what ever it takes get better.can you help me at all.i would really appreciate it.thanks for your time

  34. Hi Anthony,

    I’m a 20y/o male with a disc protrusion between l5/s1. I got this from form breakdown during a deadlift at the gym (warming up!)

    I’ve been depressed since it happened. I can’t run, jump, play sport and even lift anymore. My physique has literally disappeared before my eyes and I feel so dead.

    Will I ever return to how I was? I’ve had physio for 3 months and haven’t really had much change however I’m seeing an ortho in a few weeks time for an MRI.

    I just hope there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.


  35. Hi Anthony thank you for the information it was vastly helpful. I have recently been diagnosed with a herniated c5 and c6. This injury occurred sometime during my military term and recently resurfaced while on duty as a law enforcement officer. The military denies it happened there but i remember wearing getting horrible headaches so bad that they actually thought I had meningitis and i received a couple spinal taps. One particular occasion I was humping (long brisk walk with weighted packs) in Iraq and the bag support bars ran along the inside of my shoulder blades. My right arm went numb and i was unable to move it for 2 hours. While working one day for no apparent reason my neck and shoulder began hurting and a pain shot up the right inside of my spine up into my head and down my arm. I saw a doctor and got an MRI and was diagnosed. I dont take pain pills and im on all vitamins and an aspirin regiment. I lift weights regularly and strength train. Following a recent shoulder workout i noticed the same pain shooting down my arm, shoulder and neck but is now accompanied by a stiffness and pain in my neck at the base where neck meets shoulder blades when turning my head or lifting my right arm. I also have a never ending sensation of needing to pop my neck. My question is did i make a mistake lifting heavy weight on my shoulder workout and could i have injured it more? Prior to the incident my neck had not bothered me for some time until i tried a new workout called the lumberjack.

  36. Hello Anthony,
    I am a 42yr old male that has been suffering from disc degeneration and bulging discs for around 20 years now. I have had a anterior lumber fusion at L5S1 and a posterior fusion at L4L5. Two years ago I had a CT scan which revealed a bulging disc in my neck at C4C5. At that time I was experiencing headaches and soreness in the neck. About a month age I began getting dizzy spells and tightness at the top of my head (like my scalp is being stretched upwards from my eyes to the top of my head). Often when I bend down e.g. (Doing up shoelaces) I get very light headed and dizzy. Does that make sense? It is very frustrating as the second fusion on my back was only in Augest last year. I get headaches at the lower part of the back of my head. Can this be caused by a bulging disc?
    Thanks for listening, John.

  37. Hi Antony

    It is rather a long story which I want to keep short. . . I broke my back at the age of 4 and was too scared of my parents to tell them and due to this I have had chronic back pain for the last 38 years. A couple of years ago I had an MRI on my lower back and it indicated 3 bulging disk, L3-S1 which was compressing my spinal cord, spondulitus in the whole lumber region up to S2, my break S2/3. First question what is spondulitus. I had 3 coflex devices installed and discectomy on the bulging discs last October. I also have 2 bulging discs C5/6 and C6/7 which is causing severe pain in my hands, neck and arms and I am waiting for Kings to carryout these discectomy where they are also going to realign my neck as it is misaligned. Second question – are these linked as I am having worsening pain and the onset of slight paralysis in my legs and my lower back and leg pain is getting horrendous. I had an MRI at Christmas and I have perineural fibrosis Question 3 what is this. I am on a hideous amount of pain killers including 200mg of Oxycontin and 2700mg of gabopentin a day and I can feel myself getting worse on a daily basis as I am getting further pain in between my shoulder blades Question 4 is this another area where discs are going or is it related to my neck. My last Question is it worth keep having surgery and facing up to the fact I will end up paralyzed.

  38. Hi
    I hurt myself at work stopping a customer from falling to which i felt a sharp pain in my shoulder. Ive had xrays ct scans pyhsio,acupunture etc as the pain has been going half way down my back, right arm,chest wall & giving me constants headaches ive seen a few doctors & they have all said musclesoft tissue injury & to have a 2nd ct scan this found i have a minor disc bulge in c7 due to the repetitive work i do has this caused the disc bulge as there were no signs of one in the 1st ct scan but 8 months later it showed one

  39. Hi and thank you for the advice you have given here…..so far it is the best information I have had. I have a bulging dic in the L5-S1 area, with degenerative discs in my lower back in other areas too apparently…the bulge is pressing on my nerves and the pain has been excrutiating. I spent two day in hospital and the most recent doctor I saw said I should never have left. I KNOW the advice is not to rest too much but the pain is intense and the meds make me really sleepy so it a catch 22. I have been given crutches to walk with which help with the weight bearing. The pain in my hip has lessened over the three weeks and is bearable but the pain in my leg is terrible, my kin on my calf feels like its on fire half the time and my ankle is contantly hurting with pain spasming (I cant think of any other way to describe it) down my front thigh to my ankle routinely. Sleep has been my friend!! I have physio on Tuesday and will be seeing an osteopath next week, starting with her for a series of treatment. It does feel better when I ambulate but doesnt take long before its too painful and I can’t sit for more than a couple of minutes at a time. I have a referral to a neurospecialist at Charles Gardner hospital Perth, but I have to wait for them to contact me and then wait for an appointment and so on. I am on Gabopentin but have been told some nasty thing about it, Tramadol and Panadeine Fortes and STILL not much relief. What do I do? Please advise me as I am floundering around at the moment

  40. Anthony .. Thank you!

    For the simple explanations.

    January last year I was experiencing neck and shoulder pain and was treated for bursitis with physio and a cortisone shot. My shoulder improved with treatment but the neck pain was still causing problems.

    My Dr was finally convinced to send me for an MRI in May last year which revealed a broadbased disc bulge with osteophytic lipping causing indentation of the thecal sac and flattening of both C6 nerve roots.

    I really don’t understand that diagnosis and my Dr and the Neurologist I saw haven’t been able to simplify it for me. I was undergoing physio twice a week, it was he who convicted my Dr to do an MRI.

    I am usually a very active person, running, walking, climbing, swimming and mountain bike riding.
    All which Ive had to change or stop.

    After reading the information on your page I feel I have more of an understanding and am now on the search for an osteopath and exercises ect to help my problem. I recently received the results of my second MRI which shows no change at C5-6 but now I have a right para central disc bulge which is just contacting the right C7 nerve root. This news was so disappointing!’

    I would appreciate any guidance you can offer.

    Thank you in advance

  41. Wow, this is the most helpful website I have come across so far! I have just had an MRI and have a large disc extrusion at L5/S1 and it contacts the L5 nerve root. Also compression of the S1 nerve root. You will understand all of that more than me. Basically, I have excruciating nerve pain down my leg and into my foot and pins and needles. I am on Lyrica for the nerve pain which helps a little and enables me to get up and walk now but my problem is that if I do walk round and not rest, the pain becomes unbearable for the rest of the day!! Have been told I could possibly end up with surgery as a last resort but I don’t want to o down that path. I was told to try acupuncture but have read some bad things about them hitting a nerve and causing more damage, so please help me, I’d love your advice!

  42. Good morning Anthony! 🙂 How are you this magic spring day? I received the results of a CT scan yesterday. I have a central disc bulge at L3/4 and ‘prominent and slightly left of central disc bulging’ at L4/5. The ”Impression” in the CT report states “”Chronic disc degeneration levels L3/4 and L4/5. Disc bulging on these levels but no definite nerve compression.” Not the best news but could be worse but I’m too young for this (don’t laugh 45 is young lol!) and have a very busy life. I have been surfing the net early this morning as woke with pain in lower back, hips, pelvis and legs as usual. I am not a morning person I love my sleep lol! Anyway, my GP has referred me to physio. I had been going to physio until about 6 weeks ago when my bro urged me to see a chiro as I wasn’t improving. A couple of weeks ago I wasn’t getting any better and wanted to investigate so she arranged an x-ray and from there the CT. I hope to get into a physio today. I have heard some great reports of Bowen therapy. Have you? I took Panadol Osteo last night (instead of my preferred strong Mersyndol which knocks me out so I have a great sleep) but not the best sleep. I’m sorry, I have waffled too long. I found your information very good and would just like to know your thoughts on the best possible course of action – physio, chiro or Bowen therapy or both physio and Bowen which I’m thinking …… Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  43. Hi, i just discovered that i have herniated cervical discs C5-C6 (IRM confirmed), which already leads to borsitis and tendonitis on left shoulder plus carpian canal syndrome on right hand, already begining to show disfonctions.
    I began few spinal decompression sessions with a machine/table, but i am about to move to australia, to chinchilla to be precise.
    So i hope i could go to your practice, but as i would live at 300 kms from there, i guess it couldn’t be to often. Would you happen to know or work with some ostheopath or physiotherapist, who would know about this type of disease there, please ?
    thanks a lot for your help, regards, ketty

  44. I had a ct scan done and was found to have bulging discs and facetal arthrosis. I was referred straight to a neurosurgeon without much explanation and I’m a little confused as to why an not a chiro or physio can you please explain why? Many thanks

  45. Hello
    I have only suffered for 8 weeks but it is driving me insane. I am very active and my life is on hold until I sort this out.Tying my shoelaces is almost enough to make me pass out. Lucky I have a six year old daughter wanting to help me…shes loving being the mum.I have tried everything recommended. I do not want to wait years like many of my acquaintances have before it gets better as life is short enough. I am not sure what I have but my CTscan reads L5 is a transitional vertebra and has been partially sacralised. A rudimentaldisc space is seen between L5 and S1. A broad based posterolateral disk bulge at the L4/5 level extends to the right sided neural foramen. My doctor says surgery as soon as I can but the hospital wants physic for six weeks.They dont take into account the 3 physio sessions per week ive had for 8 weeks ($)and acupuncture. I am a gardener so resting is not an option. I can still perform light dutieswith lots of pain but not forever. I need this fixed now.

  46. I’ve been stuck in bed for over a week now with a bulging L5/S1 disc, not because I’ve been told to, but because I am physically unable to stand/walk with the pain. Visited a physio who made things 10x worse and then tried a Bowen therapist who did much the same. I’m only 30 and my husband and I re at a loss as to how to cope with this…

  47. I have a herniated disk with an annular tear in the c5/6 region. This was first diagnosed 8 years ago. I was pretty much ignored when I was first diagnosed. I was only 28 and the doctor sent me home with some ibuprofen and said I would get better. Two years ago another MRI was done that showed the same thing plus some bone spurs. I was sent to a pain specialist. Shortly after that my regular doctor moved. Since then I can not find a good regular doctor to help me. I can’t hardly use my hands anymore. It hurts to wash my hair. I had a nerve test done a few weeks ago and eliminated carpel tunnel. Also, ER doctor said that my spine has no curve at all to it anymore. I just don’t know what to do next. I need my hands. Pain specialist wants to put me on stronger med, but I don’t think it’s a good idea because if something did take away the pain in my hands (doubtful) and I kept using them they would really get swollen and hurt a lot more.

  48. Hi Anthony,
    I’m at 28 year old woman and have been suffering back problems since the age of 14. On and off. Far too young I’ve been told. I have mild scoliosis and a spondylolisthesis at L4, Region.
    For the most part I have it under control, as I’m far more health conscious and aware of my condition, than when I was younger. When I was younger I stupidly continued to do any activity I wanted, including waitressing. It got worse before it got better eventually- I’ve changed my line of work and I now see treatment with my osteo and chiro regularly.
    My most biggest and most concern, is to do with my neck.
    I’ve been experiencing intensifying pain for a year now.
    I had an MRI scan done which revealed I have a cervical disc prolapse at c5 on the ride side, pressing on the c6 exit root you mentioned above. The pain I have had from it has been excruciating, to the point where I was hospitalised 10 months ago, when the neck was so stressed out (and no doubt highly inflammed) that the muscles on the right side were spasming. I was in a neck brace for a week and it seemed to settle. Not for long though.
    The periods without experiencing any severe pain became closer and closer together.. the Osteopath I went to- before knowing what the problem was, said it was jarred facet joints. I was never recommend to have an MRI scan done.
    The Osteopath I see now encouraged me to have the MRI scan.
    The pain became unbearable on Monday when I had intense neck pain combined with pain down the arm. My fingers went numb and I experienced a new symptom- numbness to the right side of my face. Felt like i’d been to the dentist only it extend up to my eye and to my eye.
    I got into see a neuro surgeon straight away who recommended I have the cortisone injection- which I had down yesterday.
    He wants me to see me in 10 days time with my MRI scans , CAT scans and xrays.
    In your medicial opinion Anthony, is it likely I’ll need surgery? I want to avoid it at all costs. I’m just unsure and confused as to how the cortisone injection will help me- besides reducing inflammation. Therefore in a sense does it simply help with inflammation and by doing so ‘mask the pain’ … I’m starting to feel depressed at the thought of always having it there, where it could suddenly become worse one day… just wanted to know your thoughts on it?
    Very much appreciated.

  49. Hi,

    Ive just read your page about Disc problems etc, I have had an ongoing neck and lower back problem I am seeing my Osteopath for this issue. I have had a neck problem since 2011 and doctors in 2012referred me for x rays ( showing curve in neck from side to side not inward and bones spurs )and then recommended an Osteo, which I then took up late 2013. He has done a great job with my neck, however recently I had the flu and my Trapezius cramped up on me in bed and what appeared out of that was some tingling in my upper right arm around the back in the tri cep area and tingling in my fingers. My Osteo seems not too concerned and knows my life style, a breast feeding, and pushing pram mum and having been ill every thing has taken its toll on the C5-C6 causing nerves to be irritated this is what he said. I did see my doctor who diagnosed Parasthesia, and suggested I go for CT scan but I don’t want to because of the radiation you mention, my Osteo doesn’t think I need it either. I’m just concerned and think I may need an MRI instead but not sure how to go about getting one. what do you think about all of this?

  50. I have just been diagnosed with a minor buldging disc, but they didn’t even tell me in what area. I had an MRI done on C and L. I have been in pain for about ten years and I am not even 30 yet. I got stuck in a tanning bed last year and almost had to yell for help……. They told me to see a chiropractor but I don’t think I should

  51. In May this year I was diagnosed with prolapsed disc in L4/L5 region of spine. I’ve tried everything, 2 weeks ago I went for an steroid injection in spine and it didn’t do a thing for me. Any way I dread going to bed now because whenever I try and get into a comfortable position my calf muscle in left leg just seizes up and goes into cramp mode. Because of this I’m only getting a couple of hours of broken sleep, what can I do to remedy these problems

  52. I was on work cover last year for aggravating a bulging disc after a period of physio and excersizes they sent me to a specialist and said i was good to return to normal duties and just to ease into it. Which i did and in most cases didnt lift anything that was awkward or even too heavy and i was always conscious of bending my knees. 6 months later i was experiencing tingling in my foot. I didnt know what this was and i went to a chiro practor because my back felt sore and i had many friends tell me i should visit one and she told me the tingling was from over stretching my leg when i was stretching for the gym. I only went a couple of times to the chiro because my weird sensation wasnt really getting better and i was starting to not be able to handle the exersizes i did daily as much because my leg felt like it was cramping all the time in different places. eventually i got to a point where i was at work and couldnt stand for more then 5 mins at a time. I went to the local doctors and started getting help. He got me a scan and asked about where the pain was and in the end explained to me that i had a pinched nerve.. he gave me some opiates and ended up booking me in for the steroid injection. The injection took the edge off and i stopped taking the pain killers but instead i was put on anti depressants because at this point i was very deep into depression and also on something called lyrica which i believe is used to treat fybromyalga. I am in a sitting down job at work because i cant stand for long periods of time still and i do little excersizes while im laying down in the mornings as its low impact on my bidy and i can focus more on my core without being distracted by any other pain. I am worried i have permanent damage to the nerve as its been a couple of months since the injection and while i was starting to feel better and even felt like i was able to go out of my house more i am starting to feel the pain coming back and it worries me cos im feeling pain in almost any position i am in. I want to see a good doctor that has more experience as i want to be given all my options including whats best long term for me and my ability to achieve a normal life with pain being easy to manage with just normal pain killers

  53. Hi,
    My husband requires an operation due to a compressed C5/6 disk. Previous treatments include chiropractor, physio, acupuncture & remedial massage. He is in pain and has pins & needles down his arm. He is 62 and is fearful of an operation. Do you think you can help at all as an operation really is the last resort?

  54. Thanks for this information. The matter of fact mythbusting style is fantastic. If I lived near Stones Corner I would be in to see you in a heartbeat. Diagnosed yesterday with C5 C6 paracentral protrusion I’m looking for treatment options. Your information has confirmed my decision to seek out a good osteopath. Thank You.

  55. Hi
    I have had MRI and CT
    I have L3/4 and L4/5 mild broad based disc bulging causing thecal and nerve root encroachment. Minor foraminal narrowing is what the MRI scan says.
    I am in extream pain, I prefer to sit on only a certain chair. I can only walk 5 min.
    Pain is right through the lower back, and did have groin pain which has lowered.
    I have had for 2 weeks. I need advise how to get my life back on track.
    The first time this happened was 2009, the pain reduced greatly, and I managed it.
    Now it has returned on the same discs, and now it is really bad. What can you advise
    Regards john

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *