3 Ways to Treat a Bulging Disk in the Neck

1. Take a Painkiller

Pain relieving medication offers the easiest and cheapest way to treat the pain of a bulging disc in your neck. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve inflammation and promote healing. Depending on the severity of the bulging disc, you may take pain relievers for anywhere from several weeks to a year or more. In most cases, pain relievers serve as an adjunct to other treatments that may offer permanent relief. You can get non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs over-the-counter, or your doctor may prescribe one for you.

2. Epidural Steroid Injections May Help

Epidural steroid injections are often prescribed for this condition. Normally given in a series of three injections over a two-week period, this treatment offers more long-term relief from pain than oral medications. Cortisone is the medication that your doctor usually will inject. Relief can come instantly, or it may take a few days to attain full effects. The medication will reduce your pain and inflammation for several weeks to a year or more. However, a small percentage of people experience permanent pain relief after just one series of injections.

3. Physical Therapy Can Bring Lasting Relief

A four- to six-week course of physical therapy can make a big difference in your prognosis. Your therapist will use various techniques to relieve the pain and pressure in your neck, such as massage, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and traction. The professional also should teach exercises that will strengthen your neck so that it can better support your head, thus relieving pressure on your spine. The extra strength you build will keep your neck stable while naturally easing pain.

About this Author

Stephanie Varney is a former professor at Marist College with more than a decade of freelance writing experience. Her areas of interest include autoimmune diseases, reproductive and mental health, alternative health therapies, allergies and environmental issues. She has been a committed vegetarian for 14 years and a vegan for 5.