Louisville NE 68037 & Plattsmouth NE 68048

What are they?

Bulging discs are considered less serious than herniated discs. Both affect the shock absorbing discs that can be found in between our vertebrae in our spine. Bulging discs are often only a small part of the outside layer of the disc that becomes enlarged and protrudes out of its normal space into the adjoining joint and nerve space. Herniated discs are seen when the outer disc layer cracks allowing some of the inner disc layer to leak out into the adjoining joint and nerve space.

Information on what causes them?

Any disc injury is often caused by a stress that causes the disc to weaken and thus enlarge. This stress can be caused by degeneration over time as our discs lose their hydration as we age. The stress can also be caused by lifting something too heavy or incorrectly putting too much stress on our discs and causing them to fail.

The signs and symptoms?

The signs and symptoms of these issues can be acute and sudden pain, swelling, muscle spasms, inability to bear weight without compensation, altered gait mechanics, decreased motion and flexibility, numbness, tingling, or pain down your arm or leg, are just a few to name.  


Physical therapy will initially focus on the decreasing and eliminating the pain and spasms. Once these are under control or eliminated, we will then work on improving the healing of the affected bone or soft tissue. This could include modalities, such as traction, and position specific exercises to improve the healing process and working on regaining the motion and strength needed to return you back to where you were before the injury. Finally, a comprehensive home program and body mechanics education will be used up to make sure you have the tools you need to maintain your gains and avoid this injury again in the future.


At your first visit you should expect a physical therapist that is there to get to know you, your current complaints, and your goals. Using this information and the information they gather during their evaluation they will set up an individualized treatment plan that will help you reach your goals and get back to your life faster. Treatments could include modalities for pain control and to decrease your symptoms, manual therapy to help with muscle, soft tissue, and joint healing, and exercises to restore motion and strength.

Bulging and herniated discs treatment