A bulging disc is a spine condition that occurs when a disc, the spongy material between vertebrae that acts as a shock absorber for the spine, pushes out of its place in the spinal column at a certain degree. As a result, the discs bulging into the spinal cord push on the nerves and compresses the nerve root, which can produce debilitating symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. If you are interested in learning more about the causes of a bulging disc, allow this guide to give you a better understanding.
The most common causes of a bulging disc are:
The most common cause of bulging discs is degeneration. With age, and natural wear and tear, our spinal discs become weak and put additional pressure onto the surrounding nerves which causes nerve pain. Excess movement makes this very uncomfortable and it could potentially lead to the development of more severe conditions. Many patients might not even notice bulging discs since they typically develop slowly over long periods of time. Older individuals who have jobs that require heavy lifting and individuals with desk jobs often feel the symptoms in a more noticeable way. They may realize that sitting for prolonged periods causes lower back pain or pain radiating down the spine. If you are experiencing bulging discs as a result of degeneration, it is very important to address the issue as soon as possible. If an individual ignores the issue for too long, it could cause permanent nerve damage, potentially leading to autonomic neuropathy. BEST Health System offers a broad range of treatment options for all stages of bulging discs to ensure all patients are receiving the most effective, cost-efficient treatment.
- Excess body weight
Being overweight may place undue stress on the spinal components, causing them to deteriorate at a faster rate and making the individual prone to conditions like a bulging disc. Since the spinal column needs to be supported by strong and flexible muscles, any excess weight can lead to a variety of spinal conditions. Therefore, weight management and continuing to stay active with age is a crucial step in helping individuals avoid a bulging disc in the spine. Individuals interested in physical activity to prevent bulging discs can involve themselves in spine-healthy workouts such as swimming, yoga, and walking. If you are interested in learning more about the effects obesity has on the spine or about BEST Health System’s treatment options, contact our team.
- Participation in sports
The sports that most often lead to development of bulging discs and other issues tend to be those that are the hardest on the body. This is because the spinal discs that normally cushion the spine become worn through repeated use or injury, and many sports require exaggerated spinal angles and motions that can be difficult on the neck and the back. Specifically, sports that require bending, twisting, physical exertion, and potentially jarring hits can lead to wear and tear on the anatomy that normally supports the spine. Some common examples of high-impact sports include:
Furthermore, activities like baseball and golfing can lead to neck and back problems because they require repeated twisting that can take a toll on the discs that normally cushion the spine. Athletes should practice proper technique and posture, keep a strong body, engage in stretching, and wear the appropriate safety equipment.
- Severe trauma
A bulging disc in the spinal column can be related to a neck or back injury. Although not as typically as a bulging disc that develops due to age-related degeneration, a bulging disc triggered by an injury to the neck or back can cause a range of debilitating symptoms that can disrupt your life. Each spinal disc is responsible for spacing and cushioning the surrounding vertebrae. The discs allow the vertebrae to be flexible and move without contacting each other. Additionally, the discs cushion the vertebrae wehen the spine undergoes pressure from normal activities, such as running or lifting, and some abnormal activities, like falling or sudden impact.
Forms of spinal degeneration, including those causing the breakdown of spinal discs, can run in families. That means that if one of your parents or a sibling has spinal issues, you’re at an increased risk for them as well. Some people are born with narrower spinal canals, which is one of the leading causes of spinal stenosis. A small canal may not initially be a problem, but if you develo[p bulging discs later in life, it will be easier for them to compress spinal nerves. A bulging disc is not necessarily painful, with most of the symptoms typically being caused by spinal narrowing and nerve compression.
A diagnosis of a bulging disc can be daunting, and may leave some patients feeling helpless. Luckily, there are a range of conservative and surgical treatment options available to help patients live their happiest life. In most cases, healthcare professionals will recommend that [patients begin with conmservative treatment methods and practice a spine-healthy lifestyle. However, if these conservative methods are ineffective, they may be a candidate for surgery.
Reach out the the BEST Health System
If you have been diagnosed with bulging discs and are unsure what to do next, contact BEST Health System and allow our dedicated team to guide you in the right direction. Our practice specializes in noninvasive spinal procedures for individuals with debilitating spine conditions. It’s time to take the first step towards recovery. The BEST is yet to come.