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bulging discs

Spinal discs are shock absorbing rings of glycoprotein and fibrocartilage that separate the vertebral bodies of your spine and allow for movement in your spine. Bulging discs are more common in middle aged people. The lower part of your cervical spine is most susceptible to bulging discs at levels C5-C6 and C6-C7.


What are bulging discs?

A bulging disc is a frequent spine injury which happens to your intervertebral disc. There is a fluid component in the middle of the disc that moves and adjusts to accommodate pressures placed on the spine. Your nerves are what carry signals and messages from the brain to your body and vice versa and they run through the spinal cord. When the disc moves so that it places pressure on a nerve, this is what will produce the symptoms of a bulging disc.


What is the cause of a bulging disc?

A bulging disc is normally due to either:

  • A pre-existing disc weakness
  • A sudden increase in pressure through the disc causing the fibres of the disc to tear

Bulging discs can also come on without an exact cause.


What are the symptoms of bulging discs?

A bulging disc can cause a great amount of pain which can be felt in the neck, shoulders and arms. This can occur along with pins and needles down your arms and pain typically presents in this classical pattern.

There are a few different movements that can bring on the type of back pain associated with a bulging disc and often the back pain is aggravated by:

  • Forward bending
  • Sitting
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Lifting

The degree of spinal disc injury varies significantly from mild bulges, slipped discs, a protruding disc to complete disc rupture and this degree of injury will affect the severity of your symptoms and the level of disability it causes.


How is bulging discs diagnosed?

Your physiotherapist can perform a series of special tests to identify nerve problems as part of a full objective assessment when you come for your first appointment. A CT or MRI scan can confirm the findings if necessary.


How is bulging discs diagnosed?

Your physiotherapist can perform a series of special tests to identify nerve problems as part of a full objective assessment when you come for your first appointment. A CT or MRI scan can confirm the findings if necessary.


What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for bulging discs?

Following a thorough assessment, an individualised treatment plan can be devised based around your symptoms. Treatment for bulging discs often includes:

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Heat or ice therapy
  • Joint mobilisations
  • Joint manipulations
  • Traction
  • Range of movement exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Postural exercises
  • Anti-inflammatory advice


Benefit of physiotherapy for bulging discs?

Physiotherapy is important to help restore your normal movement, resolve your symptoms and can reduce the recovery time required allowing you to get back to your best as quickly as possible.

Physiotherapy aids:

  • Reduced pain
  • Increased range of movement
  • Increased function
  • Increased strength
  • A quicker return to work
  • Prevention of re-injury

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.


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 
9am to 12pm
Same day & Emergency appointments available most times.


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

South Woodham Ferrers

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


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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