Geez AQA I had to take a couple of double takes at that title of yours. Now I see you are talking about bulging disks,
not bulging dicks. I do believe there is a slight difference
I too have c5-6 herniation. One of the conservative options is Epidural Steroid Injections. If you decide to go this route you may or may not get relief. I have not had success with the ESI's. Many others have. Further I would caution you that if you try them and after the second injection you have not had a measurable amount of relief insist that they be stopped. They are usually done in a session of 3 injections anywhere from 7 to 30 days apart. Sessions can be repeated up to 3 times every 12 months. Repeated sessions can be helpful if the first set brought relief. One thing to bear in mind is they are a temporary fix and almost always wear off and need repeated.
Repeated use of ESI can lead to nasty complications down the road. Do your research and make sure you fully understand the benefits and risks of ESI BEFORE you accept this type of treatment.
I honestly believe that WC likes to offer this as a treatment which initially gives you the illusion that you are better. Pain subsides, and even sometimes any numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers goes away, as the cortisone in those shots do tend to help reduce inflammation.
Now let's say for instance you are one that is offered the ESI and you have a good result. Pain goes away, numbness and tingling subsides, and walah you are feeling better. You get placed at MMI and the IME says you are 5-10% disabled. You are released and back to work. You settle out with the IC and close your claim out with WC.
Now fast forward say 2 or 3 years later. ESI's wear off and you are right back where you started only this time you get to pay for treatment as you have already settled your WC claim. Perhaps you are even worse off than the original injury suggested as since you had all that cortisone in there you didn't feel when you caused more damage in your cervical spine. What do you do then. This kind of thing can and often does happen to those who choose the ESI route. Yes you can repeat the series but before you go down that road please research all the pro's and con's of ESI especially on a repeat basis. Long term use of cortisone is very hard on your bones. It can cause premature loss of boney structure. So please do your homework if this is one of the conservative treatments offered to you for your bulging disk.
I am not saying this to try to scare you nor to persuade you one way or the other, just trying to save you some heartache down the road. Again, research this and make an informed decision about the use of ESI's.
As the other have mentioned there are other conservative treatment options as well. PT using heat, massage, and different exercise programs to strengthen the neck are just a few the treatments you might be offered.
Good luck to you and let us know how things turn out for you.
Injured Female, OTR Truck Driver, from the state of Georgia.