Interestingly, not every herniated disc causes symptoms. Some people discover they have a bulging disc or herniated disc after an x-ray for an unrelated reason.
Most of the time, the symptoms, especially the pain, prompt the patient to seek medical care. The visit with the doctor usually includes a physical exam and neurological exam . He or she will also review your medical history , and ask about what symptoms you've experienced and what treatments you've tried for pain relief.
An x-ray may be needed to rule out other causes of back pain such as osteoarthritis (spondylosis) or spondylolisthesis.
As you can guess, in the long term you’ll have to make some serious lifestyle changes in order to really treat the root problem by strengthening the right muscles and improving your posture. There is no doubt that these radical lifestyle changes will involve exercising regularly (here is a helpful article on exercising with a herniated disc ). By minimizing the pressure to the damaged disc and fixing the actual muscle imbalances you will slowly go significantly in direction of treating the condition. And remember, you simply cannot ignore all other causes.
Lumbar epidural injections have provided relief for many patients over the course of years. Many patients realize a significant reduction in pain, especially when the injection was received for cases of sciatica. It is important to know that the chances for success and substantial relief are increased when the injections are done in conjunction with a comprehensive physical therapy program. Epidural injections may only be a temporary solution when more conservative options have been exhausted. If the underlying cause of the pain is a significant condition, surgery may be necessary.