CARMICHAEL, Calif. — As Tiger Woods begins his return from injury, countless golfers across the country are finding themselves suffering with the same ailment that sidelined the world’s top player: a bulging spinal disc. While the pain associated with a bulging disc may be dull – often numbness and tingling – doctors of chiropractic (DCs) suggest seeking treatment immediately before compensated movement patterns affect the spinal tissue and lead to more severe disc problems, which may involve more pain and longer recovery times.
“It is important to not only treat a bulging disc when it happens, but to also maintain optimal health through proactive care such as chiropractic, soft tissue therapies, as well as stretching and strengthening exercises,” states Dale Richardson, D.C., who has treated professional golfers for over 20 years.
For golfers, a bulging disc may occur in response to the chronic repetitive stress and acute trauma caused by the repeated swing of a club. When injured, the discs, which are cushions between the spinal bones, can push out towards the spinal cord and nerve roots often causing numbness in the arms and legs, stiffness in the neck, or difficulty walking.
According to DCs at the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress it is essential to rest and relieve pressure using cold packs during the first 24 to 48 hours to reduce swelling and muscle spasms. As leading experts in spinal manipulation and manual therapies, DCs can prescribe and perform physiotherapy modalities, such as ultrasound, decompression traction, electrical stimulation, and low level laser therapy. In many cases, conservative care can be effective and substantially decrease the need for more invasive procedures such as spinal epidural injections and surgery.
“In addition to exercises and rehabilitation techniques for the treatment of a bulging disc, doctors of chiropractic are trained to provide counseling on safe and healthy daily activities, which plays an important role in functional improvement and long lasting positive outcomes,” concludes Richardson.