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bulging / slipped disc

The lumbar spine is made up of lots of small bones called vertebrae that lie on top of each other. In between each vertebra is a disc which is made up of connective tissue and has fluid in the middle. Lumbar disc bulges are most prevalent in the middle aged population.

 

What is a bulging disc/slipped disc?

A bulging/slipped disc describes what happens when the fluid in the middle of the disc protrudes out because of a tear in the outer layers of the disc.

The fluid then bulges onto a nerve which will then cause the symptoms of a bulging disc to be felt.

 

What causes a bulging disc/slipped disc?

A bulging disc can occur over time as the disc is subject to damage and becomes weaker, eventually tearing. It can also occur instantly due to a movement putting a lot of force on the disc.

Three activities tend to cause bulging discs in your lumbar spine (lower back).

These are:

  • Lifting (particularly when twisting as well)
  • Sitting down
  • Bending forward

Sometimes a small movement such as sneezing may bring on the symptoms of a bulging/slipped disc and this may be because the disc has been subjected to prolonged lifting, bending or sitting and this small movement has been the final movement to make the disc bulge.

 

What are the symptoms of a bulging disc/slipped disc?

You may suddenly feel back pain and symptoms are usually felt in the lower back area and can be felt on one side, both or in the middle.

Pain may radiate into the buttock or legs or into the foot (sciatic pain) and may be felt alongside:

  • Pins and needles
  • Numbness
  • Weakness

Symptoms are generally made worse when bending forwards for example touching your toes, sitting for long periods, lifting or sitting to standing.

Coughing, sneezing and twisting may worsen the pain.

 

How is a bulging disc/slipped disc diagnosed?

Your physiotherapist will carry out a complete subjective and objective examination to see whether you have a bulging/slipped disc or if something else is producing your symptoms. Scans such as MRI or CT scans aren’t routinely required for this condition however they may be useful to confirm diagnosis.

    How is a bulging disc/slipped disc diagnosed?

    Your physiotherapist will carry out a complete subjective and objective examination to see whether you have a bulging/slipped disc or if something else is producing your symptoms. Scans such as MRI or CT scans aren’t routinely required for this condition however they may be useful to confirm diagnosis.

     

    What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for a bulging disc/slipped disc?

    You will initially have an assessment and following this your physiotherapist will create a treatment programme tailored to you. There are many treatment options for a bulging or slipped disc and treatment varies between individuals. Your physiotherapist will choose the most appropriate treatment methods for you based on your symptoms and response to treatment. Several treatment methods are often used together.

    Treatment can include:

    • Joint mobilisation
    • Joint manipulation
    • Traction
    • Electrotherapy
    • Soft tissue massage
    • Acupuncture
    • Range of movement exercises
    • Strengthening exercises
    • Advice and education
    • Exercises specific to moving the disc back into place
    • Core stability exercises and Pilates
    • Activity modification advice

     

    Benefit of physiotherapy for a bulging disc/slipped disc?

    There are several benefits of physiotherapy for this condition with our aim being to get you back to your best as quickly as possible. The particular benefits you feel from physiotherapy will depend on your original symptoms and goals.

    Physiotherapy assists with:

    • Reduced pain
    • Increased range of movement
    • Increased function
    • Increased strength
    • A quicker return to work

      Don't let pain win...

      Our Expert Physiotherapists specialise in providing the latest in physiotherapy treatments and techniques in order to get you pain free as soon as possible, cure the cause of your pain and help you to return to pre-injury levels of activity.

      Furthermore, we'll also give you a bespoke exercise and rehabilitation program, and advise you on how to prevent re-injury and remain pain free.

      Get in touch with us now on 01245 830280 or 07980 898212 or alternatively send us a message.

      Insurance

      At Farrell Physiotherapy we work with some of the uk's top insurance companies to ensure you're covered.

      We can accept payment from AXA (PPP), Bupa, PruHealth, simplyhealth and Standard Life, if you have any questions about alternative payment methods, please get in touch with us using the contact form at the bottom of the page and we'll get back to you asap!

      ,,

      I was referred to Ben after a road traffic accident for pain in my neck. The service I received was excellent. He not only treated my neck pain but also helped me to correct my bad posture which was not aiding my recovery.
      Ben is extremely friendly and gives a very professional service and I can’t thank him enough for resolving the problem. I would highly recommend him.

      - Carol Joyce

      ,,

      I have recently completed a course of treatment with Ben Farrell and am pleased to highly recommend him to others. I went to see Ben when I was suffering with extreme pain due to a trapped nerve in my neck which caused pain to radiate into my shoulder, arm and hand. I got an appointment very quickly and Ben was able to diagnose the problem and work on alleviating the pain. Part of the treatment has involved improving my longstanding poor posture which I’ve had since a child and believed was something that could not be changed. Ben has also advised me on how to continue to work on this to avoid this problem from reoccurring in the future.

      - Judith Woosnam

      ,,

      I visited the practice on personal recommendation following a doctor’s diagnosis of an as then unspecified “shoulder injury”. I had seen my GP as the increasing pain in my arm and shoulder was not only preventing me from lifting my arm above 90%, but was also increasingly stopping me from sleeping at night.

      After an initial diagnosis session where Ben Farrell had quickly identified the actual problem, I then undertook a course of hands on physiotherapy and an increasing program of exercise. In view of the complexity of the problem (which I was advised had been going on for far longer than I has know), the physiotherapy program was, therefore, pretty comprehensive, however, always with excellent support and guidance from Ben along the way.

      I am very pleased with the results and I am now both playing much better golf and getting a full night’s sleep. And, I have no problems lifting my arm its full range!!!! So, the next thing on the agenda will be the golf game at Benton Hall.

      - Stephen

      ,,

      Before visiting Ben I had been suffering from pain in my achillies tendons, which had stopped me from running my first half marathon. I had previously visited other physios local to me but had made no improvement. On my first visit ,Ben immediately diagnosed that my problem was coming from an old lower back injury. I was impressed that he was determined to treat the root cause of the injury (back) and provide a long term cure, and not just focus on a short term treatment of my achilles. Ben’s friendly but straight talking manner made my visits very enjoyable. I was so impressed that I took my 14 year old son to see Ben when he had an injury prior to a very important football trial. I would not hesitate to highly recommend Ben to anyone .

      - Mike Smith

      ,,

      Couldn’t have asked for a better service than I got in just 4 weeks I spent with Mr Farrell.

      My first appointment with Mr Farrell was 4 weeks prior to running the London marathon and I was in no fit state to be able to run it due to a knee injury. Mr Farrell gave me a number of exercises to completely daily and a handful of one on one sessions as well. He also advised me on picking a better pair of running shoes to support my foot shape and create less pain in my knee.

      A combination of the hard work put in by Mr Farrell and myself I managed to complete the marathon in just over 4 hours. A great achieve considering I couldn’t run for 4 months prior to the race due to my knee. My only regret was not going to see Mr Farrell earlier! Then I may have be able to probably train for it. Would highly recommend Mr Farrell to anyone, a very professional service and great results.

      - Fraser Murray

      ,,

      One of the main things I learnt when you treated me was your ability to dispel some of the old chestnuts about joint pain. Through your physiotherapy and advice I now walk more and cycle a lot. I do not rest up when I have a flair up, I do the maximum exercise I can without causing to great a discomfort to my joints. I avoid Painkillers if at all possible.

      I can honestly say that you have helped me to take a new outlook on life. Thank you.

      Ben Farrell was very thorough and professional when I went to him for treatment on my tennis elbow. He treated my posture as well as the elbow. The exercises he taught me both enabled the pain to go away and stay away, thus doing himself out of work! He and all his staff were very pleasant and friendly and I would recommend him unreservedly.

      - Shane Murphy

      ,,

      Ben is an excellent physiotherapist who provided a considered care plan that enabled me to achieve my goals. Ben in his unique professional and personable manner demonstrated judgement and considerable experience to assist my recovery

      After suffering persistent shoulder pain for several months I went to Farrell Physiotherapy on the recommendation of my husband.

      After only a short course of treatment and undertaking daily exercises I am now pain free.

      I would gladly recommend Farrell Physiotherapy to any person requiring physiotherapy treatment.

      - C Wiltshire

      ,,

      I received excellent treatment for a foot and knee complaint that I thought would need an operation. It was very debilitating. However, after my course of physiotherapy sessions and continuation of exercises to do at home, I am now pain free and back to my normal exercise routine at the gym.

      - C Dobinson

      Where we are

      We have three clinic locations within the Essex area, please use the map below to view contact details for the clinic that you would prefer to visit. 

      Opening Hours

      Monday to Friday
      6am to 9pm 
      Saturdays
      9am to 12pm
      Same day & Emergency appointments available most times.

      Chelmsford

      Unit 2, The Old Coal Yard,
      Little Waltham Road,
      Broomfield, Chelmsford
      CM1 7TG

      South Woodham Ferrers

      Rugby Club Pavillion,
      Saltcoats Playing Fields,
      South Woodham Ferrers,
      Essex, CM3 5WA

      Witham

      Witham Leisure Centre,
      Spinks Ln, Witham,
      Essex, CM8 1EP

      Get In Touch

      If you have any questions prior to booking just send us a message using the form and we'll be in touch asap.

      If you would prefer to talk to us on the phone we can be reached on 01245 830280 or 07980 898212 during business hours.

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