Home » How Can a Chiropractor Help with A Bulging Disc?

How Can a Chiropractor Help with A Bulging Disc?


A bulging disk is a common spinal condition that brings discomfort, pain, and limited mobility. Conventional treatments often include medication, physical therapy, or even surgery. However, chiropractic care presents a noninvasive alternative for relief. 

In this blog, we will explore the role of chiropractic treatment in managing and alleviating the symptoms of a bulging disk. Keep reading to learn how a chiropractor can help with a bulging disk.

Understanding Bulging Disks

A bulging disk, also called disk protrusion, occurs when one of the spinal disks extends beyond its usual boundary. These soft, gel-like cushions between the vertebrae act as shock absorbers for the spine, allowing for movement and flexibility.

Factors that contribute to the development of bulging disks include the following:

  • Degeneration: As we age, our spinal disks naturally lose water content and elasticity, making them more prone to bulging.
  • Repetitive Strain: Continuous strain from repetitive motions or heavy lifting can stress the spinal disks, leading to bulging.
  • Trauma or Injury: Trauma from a fall or an accident can cause a disk to bulge.
  • Poor Posture: Improper posture, especially when sitting or lifting, can place undue stress on the spine.
  • Obesity: Excess body weight increases the load on the spine, contributing to disk problems.

The symptoms of a bulging disk depend on where the bulge is located. In most cases, it is asymptomatic until the bulge starts to press on a nerve.

Some of the common signs are the following:

  • Localized or radiating pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Limited mobility 

Chiropractic Techniques for Bulging Disks

Can a chiropractor help with a bulging disk? Yes! Chiropractic care is a holistic method of treatment that focuses on the musculoskeletal system as a whole. 

Below are techniques a chiropractor may use.

chiropractor doing Spinal Manipulation to a patient with bulging disc | can a chiropractor help with a bulging disc

Spinal Manipulation

Spinal manipulation, or spinal adjustment, is a technique in which chiropractors apply controlled and sudden force to a specific joint of the spine. Realigning the vertebrae helps alleviate the pressure on the surrounding nerves and the bulging disk. Chiropractic adjustments for bulging disks improve mobility, reduce pain, and address the root cause of discomfort.

Flexion–Distraction Technique

The flexion–distraction technique uses a specialized table to gently flex and stretch the spine. This chiropractic technique targets bulging disks by increasing the space between the vertebrae, thus reducing nerve irritation and disk compression. The gentle decompression and traction promote nutrient-rich fluid exchange in the disks, effectively relieving pain and accelerating healing. 

Spinal Decompression Therapy

Spinal decompression therapy uses a motorized traction device or table to stretch the spine gently. This stretching effectively creates negative pressure within the spinal disks, retracting the bulging disks.

Active Release Technique

Active Release Technique (ART) is a hands-on method in which chiropractors apply targeted pressure to soft tissue structures across the affected area. A chiropractor for bulging disks usually uses this technique alongside spinal manipulation to address muscle tension and improve mobility.

ART focuses on breaking up scar tissue and adhesions in the muscles and soft tissues that may develop around a bulging disk. It also helps to reduce pain, restore normal movement patterns, and support the effectiveness of spinal adjustments.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Bulging Disks

Noninvasive and Drug-Free Approach

Chiropractic care is the best option if you are looking for a natural approach to relieving a bulging disk because it is noninvasive and drug-free. Unlike traditional treatments requiring medications or surgery, chiropractic care is about natural healing methods. 

This technique minimizes the risks associated with drug dependency and potential complications of invasive procedures. With manual adjustments, lifestyle advice, and targeted therapies, chiropractors offer a holistic approach to managing and treating bulging disks naturally.

Pain Relief and Improved Mobility

Chiropractic treatment also offers substantial pain relief for patients with this condition. It alleviates nerve pressure, which is the primary cause of discomfort and pain. 

Moreover, it can improve the function and alignment of the spine, which supports the enhancement of overall mobility. Individuals often experience reduced stiffness and increased range of motion, allowing them to do things they used to do.

Prevention of Further Disk Damage

Regular chiropractic care could significantly reduce the risk of future complications by preventing further damage to spinal disks. Chiropractic adjustments are the best way to help improve the spine by maintaining proper spinal alignment and addressing other issues like poor posture and muscle imbalances.

Personalized Treatment Plans

One of the main principles of chiropractic care is the development of personalized treatment plans tailored to every individual’s unique goals and needs. Chiropractors conduct thorough assessments, from medical history to physical examinations and imaging tests, to understand bulging disks. In this way, chiropractors can recommend the best therapies and lifestyle changes that can address the symptoms. 

Evidence for Chiropractic Treatment of Bulging Disks

medical specialist explaining bulging disc | can a chiropractor help with a bulging disc

A growing number of studies and research support the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic care for managing this condition. One systematic review found that the estimated risk of spinal manipulation causing a clinically worsened disk herniation is less than 1 in 3.7 million. Thus, it merits increased use in conservative treatment plans.

Case reports further suggest that chiropractic treatment can lead to significant improvements in symptoms associated with bulging disks. 

In one case, a 52-year-old Asian man with severe lower back pain due to disk extrusion experienced significant pain relief, functional improvement, and near resolution of deficits following a 10-week conservative management plan consisting of spinal manipulation, complementary therapies, and home exercise. After 6 months, an MRI revealed the resolution of the extrusion, and the patient remained asymptomatic for 3 months after.

While the evidence supporting chiropractic care for bulging disks is promising, it is crucial to recognize that responses to treatment may vary. Individual factors should be taken into account. For best results, the treatment should be performed by a certified chiropractor and in combination with other therapies.


Chiropractic care can be a game-changer for those looking to manage bulging disks. A chiropractor can help with a bulging disk not only by treating symptoms but also by offering support and guidance to help you achieve your health goals with a holistic approach that's focused on your well-being.

Dr. Kevin Kosak of Kosak Chiropractic and Acupuncture is an experienced and caring chiropractor dedicated to your well-being. He and our team believe in personalized care that considers your unique needs and goals, ensuring you feel supported every step of the way.

Our clinic is conveniently located in Grayhawk Pointe, serving patients in Omaha, NE, and nearby areas. If you're ready to discover how chiropractic care can help you with your bulging disk, call (402) 964-0300 today to request an appointment.

  • Contact Us

    14450 Eagle Run Dr #150
    Omaha, NE 68116
    United States
    Phone: (402) 513 - 8954
  • Office Hours

    9:30am-12:30pm &

  • © Kosak Chiropractic and Acupuncture 2024
    Developed by M.D.R. Marketing Done Right.
    Privacy Policy
    contact information

    14450 Eagle Run Dr #150
    Omaha, NE 68116
    United States
    Phone: (402) 964-0300

    office hours

    9:30am-12:30pm &