What is a Cervical Bulging Disc?
A cervical bulging disc describes the instance when a damaged disc in the cervical (upper) region of the spine bulges out of its normal radius. The cervical spine consists of seven vertebrae numbered C1-C7. Almost all cervical vertebrae are cushioned by round discs that absorb shock, maintain stability, and allow for neck movement. The exception is the atlas and axis vertebrae, which are the first two cervical vertebrae located directly under the skull.
With age, the fibrous outer walls of the discs gradually lose water and elasticity, making them less able to absorb the pressure placed on them. In a weakened disc, this pressure causes the inner core to push and stretch the outer layer, bulging the disc beyond its normal boundaries. Whether you have been diagnosed with a bulging disc or are researching conditions to find the source of your pain, it is important to educate yourself on the symptoms and treatment of this condition.
Cervical Bulging Disc Symptoms
A cervical bulging disc does not always cause symptoms. If bulging disc material places excessive pressure on a nearby nerve root or the spinal cord, painful symptoms can result. This includes:
- Local neck pain
- Shooting pains through the shoulders and arms
- Loss of fine motor skills in the fingers
If you believe that you have a bulging disc in your neck, you should consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. In most cases, doctors will first recommend or prescribe conservative treatments such as medication, physical therapy, exercise, hot/cold compression therapy, and epidural steroid injections. The treatment relieves symptoms and restores your range of motion while you monitor the the overall progress of the condition..
Treatment with BEST Health System
At BEST Health System, it is our goal to help patients find the most effective, least invasive treatment option. Our board-certified surgeons work with patients to examine their symptoms and explore all possible treatments. Oftentimes, you can treat cervical spine conditions through conservative therapies including physical therapy and hot/cold therapy. If a patient does not find relief from these treatments, they may be a candidate for surgery. Contact BEST to learn more today.