Bulging Discs: Explantation, Symptoms, Treatments
Explanation and Symptoms
Bulging discs are one of the most common back injuries. Hundreds of thousands of people in the US every year suffer from them. It is often difficult to self-diagnose a bulging disc because the pain that you feel can be in other areas of your body away from your back. The reason for this is that bulging discs usually affect nearby nerves (as well as the spinal cord) which can be connected in some way to any other part of your body. The older we get, the weaker our discs become, so any amount of above-average contact or strain to the back can result in a bulging disc. From here, you would be dealing with the potential of the disc becoming herniated, which means it has torn.
As previously mentioned, it is possible that someone may not know that they have a bulging disc because a lot of the time there is no discomfort or pain depending on which disc you’re dealing with. The pain from bulging discs almost always comes from when the disc pinches a nerve, and sometimes that doesn’t happen immediately. However, depending on where the disc is located on your spine – upper or lower – the symptoms and problem areas may vary. Obviously, if the disc resides in the upper back, you would feel pain in your shoulders, neck, fingers, etc. If the disc were in the lower spine area, then the pain would be felt in your legs, hips, etc. In reality, bulging discs rarely occur in the upper spine area and almost always occur in the lower area. Definitely set up an appointment to consult and be examined by a medical professional if you feel like there’s a strong possibility that you could be suffering from a bulging disc. If you have nerve pain in particular areas of your body and you know that you’ve received some spine or neck trauma recently that could potentially have resulted in a bulged disc, it’s better to be safe then sorry because like the majority of internal injuries, waiting to get it treated usually makes it worse. Especially if you are advanced in age and you are feeling concentrated nerve pain, see a doctor.
Causes and Treatments
To be more specific, a bulging disc occurs when the disc’s outer layer experiences a reduction in strength. This layer is called the outer fibrous containment ring. Most of the time this is caused by the normal aging process we all go through, so in these situations, you don’t need to consider what you could have done to avoid it. However, if you have bad posture or are overweight or don’t protect your back when you’re consistently and rigorously exercising, these types of things can cause discs to bulge, especially for those in advanced age.
In many cases, surgery isn’t necessary. A lot of times more simple treatments like warm compression, sleep, certain exercises that can be done at home, and even some types of medication can help someone avoid taking the surgery route. It is recommended to try these out first before considering surgery because spinal surgery is usually very invasive and carries with it an extensive recovery period, not to mention it’s expensive. There are some less-invasive spinal surgery options available with certain technological advances, but typically the recovery times are still long and can be uncomfortable. That is to be expected, though, with most surgeries involving nerves and bone.
Call Cedar City Chiropractic if you or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms of what could be a bulging disc.