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Sounds like you have been to hell and back. Glad to hear that you are doing well now. Malpractice is an understatement!

I refuse to do cortisone injections. I read too many negative reports. I have worked with PT and all seemed to make my back feel worse. Going to try aquatic therapy now and work on the core as well.

Sometimes I wonder if it is my arthritis that is bothering me and not the bulging discs. But glad to hear they can return to “normal”

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@susanjane77 The best core exercise I can do is get on my horse and go for a trail ride. That does require some work of grooming and cleaning him up and lifting the 28 pound saddle to my chest height to get it on his back. When I sit up with good posture and he walks, I get a good back workout as I compensate for the movement. For someone who doesn't ride horses, that first ride lets them know what muscles they had not been using, but when you ride more frequently you are stronger and that ache doesn't happen on the short rides. If you go 5 or 6 hours, then yes, muscles will complain a bit. This gives me much better posture because of the core strength and I enjoy it. There are lots of therapeutic riding centers for people doing physical therapy related riding at a walk.

I'm with you on avoiding spine injections because I had one and had a bad reaction to it.

Bulging discs can get better if they are not degenerated to the point of weakness and herniation. If posture and muscle imbalances are corrected with stretching and strengthening for example what a physical therapist can help with, they can get better aligned within the spine. I have had a slight bulge in thoracic fix itself and stop bulging. It had been shown on an MRI, and a few years later was not bulging on a subsequent MRI. I suppose, if I have bad posture, it may start to bulge again.

I asked my spine surgeon how to avoid needing his services again. His answer was to maintain core strength.