Bulging discs describe spinal discs that extend out of their designated space in the spinal column. This condition most commonly occurs in the cervical (upper) spine or the lumbar (lower) region of the spine. Bulging discs are typically an unavoidable result of the natural aging process, and it is caused by the weakening or thinning of the disc’s outer layer, known as the annulus fibrosus. When this thins, it allows the pressure from the disc’s inner layer to force the disc to expand, protruding out of its space between two vertebrae and into the spinal column.
A bulging disc alone is usually not enough to cause noticeable symptoms in a patient. However, when the disc irritates a spinal nerve root or the spinal cord, a variety of symptoms may develop including:
- Chronic pain at the site of nerve compression
- Pain that radiates along a nerve’s pathway
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of fine motor skills in the hands
- Difficulty walking
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, the sooner you can contact a doctor the better. If these symptoms are left untreated, they can easily lead to debilitating pain and become harder to control. By taking charge of a diagnosis and managing their symptoms, it is very likely that patients will continue to have a high quality of life despite their condition.
Bulging Disc Treatment
After arriving at a diagnosis of a bulging disc, treatment will typically begin with conservative efforts. This includes pain medication, hot/cold therapy, and corticosteroid injections. While most patients can return to an active lifestyle after conservative options, some patients may require more extensive treatment. If your doctor has suggested surgery as the best option, it is important to understand the variety of surgical procedures available.
BEST Health System
The healthcare professionals at BEST Health System specialize in minimally invasive surgical procedures that allow for quicker recovery times and less intrusive procedures. If you are interested in learning more about the surgical options available through BEST Health System, contact our dedicated team today and take the first step towards recovery.