What is a Bulging Disk?
A bulging disc, also known as disc protrusion, is a very common occurrence. This condition happens when a disc shifts out of its normal position. Usually, this happens slowly and over a long period of time. As the disc moves, its inner, liquid-like nucleus begins to balloon toward the weakest point in its hard outer casing.
Usually, there is little or no pain associated with a bulging disk. But the affected disc may eventually suffer a herniation. Bulging discs may also place pressure on nearby nerves. This leads to serious discomfort and, in some cases, severe and chronic pain.
Bulging Disc Symptoms
- A bulging disk in the cervical are may cause pain or tingle in the neck, shoulders, arms, hands, or fingers. A bulging disk in the lumbar area may cause muscle spasms and lower back pain.
- Approximately 90% of all bulging discs occur in the lumbar spine.
- A thoracic bulging disk may cause pain in the upper back that radiates to the chest or stomach
Bulging Disc Causes
- The normal aging process.
- Degenerative Disc Disease.
- Injury or trauma (herniated disc).
- Bad posture.
Treatment for a Bulging Disc
The physician will most likely first recommend conservative methods. Most of the time, conservative treatments will work, such as:
It’s a good idea to take some time and rest for a few days. However, it’s important to not have too much downtime. It’s important to keep moving so you don’t stiffen up your joints and muscles.
You can also use ice and heat to help relieve pain. It’s best to alternate hot and cold. You can also determine what feels best to you.
Over-the-counter medications are a good way to reduce inflammation and swelling. Medications such as Ibuprofen and Naxpron will do.
Exercise is a very important part of your recovery. A physical therapist can show you which exercises will help with your condition best. It’s important to strengthen the muscles that support your back. Which can also lead to pain relief.
Your doctor may also recommend a steroid injection. This is placed around the spinal nerve to help bring down swelling. Which in turn will also help relieve pain.
Last but not least, surgery may be recommended. If conservative methods do not help or if your case is severe enough, your doctor may recommend surgery. Talk with your doctor about the different surgical methods.
If you are experiencing a bulging disc, call us today. Our offices are conveniently located in Palm Beach & Broward County.