How do I treat a bulging disc that is causing lower back pain?

Doctor's Answers (3)

Hi Terence. Sorry to hear that you’re suffering from chronic back pain. There are different treatment options catered for different severities of prolapsed intervertebral discs (slipped/bulging disc). You can consider anti-inflammatory pain medication and physiotherapy for a start. If your pain still persists you should consider visiting your GP or Orthopaedic Surgeon for a consultation. 

Thanks for the D2D. This question is a common one I’m afraid with NS and also with office work!

You see, while carrying heavy items is a cause for back pain, so too is office work, where you are slumped over a computer of laptop for hours at a time and as a consequence your back can start to deteriorate.

As Dr Chung mentions, getting assessed is useful and certainly alternatives would be to start with an integrated Sports/MSK service where a sports/msk physican, physiotherapist or rehab specialist can assess, investigate and start treatment for you.  Then, if needed, a surgical consultation can be arranged.

Hope this helps. 


Dr Dinesh 

Thank you for your email. I agree with what Dr Chung or Dr Dinesh have said. It is an extremely common problem seen in people, whether young or old. First line of treatment is always medication and physiotherapy to strengthen the core and paraspinal muscles.

If that does not work, and the pain is persistent, and if MRI does show a disc bulge and/ or annular tear, another option that you may want to consider is a nucleoplasty,  annuloplasty and facet block of the affected levels. It works very well, and may patients do find symptomatic relief. Of course not all conditions are suitable, and some patients may well require open surgery. But nonetheless, it would be a good option to explore with your orthopaedic surgeon. Alot of my patients do very well after this procedure, and I think it is something that you may want to consider if your pain does not improve with conservative managment methods.

Kind regards

Dr Sean Ng

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