If your doctor has diagnosed you with a bulging disc, it’s easy to feel a bit nervous, especially considering the painful symptoms that have the potential to persist for months – or even years. However, being diagnosed with a bulging disc is certainly not the end of the world. There are an abundance of effective treatment options for you to choose from that can ease your pain and other symptoms.
After receiving a bulging disc diagnosis, the first step is to educate yourself about the facts behind this condition. A good place to start is to learn more about the various parts of your spine and what their functions are.
Your spinal cord is surrounded and protected by a column of bones known as vertebrae. In between the vertebrae are discs which offer cushioning and shock absorption in the back and neck. These soft, circular discs that are located between each set of vertebrae have a tendency to change as you age. They lose water content, become rigid, and lose elasticity. This deterioration can present in patients as young as their 20s, but is much more common in people who are in their 40s or 50s.
Eventually, the deterioration of a disc can progress to the point that a bulge in the disc’s surface can place pressure on a nearby nerve, nerve root, or the spinal cord itself. This nerve compression can cause painful symptoms. In the event that a bulging disc actually ruptures, this condition is called a herniated disc.
When diagnosing a bulging disc, your doctor will likely have you undergo a physical exam and evaluate your symptoms. By learning about the specific location of your symptoms, your doctor can typically discern the location of the bulging disc. An MRI might also help discover bulging discs and other abnormalities in your spine.
If you are experiencing bulging disc symptoms, visit your doctor right away for an examination. Your symptoms might include pain, tingling, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, or numbness, all of which can radiate from the damaged disc into the shoulders, arms, or hands, as well as the hips, legs, and feet. Physical activity – as well as bending, sneezing, coughing, and other movements – can all exacerbate these symptoms.
If you have been diagnosed with a bulging disc and conservative, nonsurgical treatments have failed to bring you relief from your symptoms, please contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about our safe, effective endoscopic procedures. Our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures to treat bulging discs are alternatives to traditional back surgery. Contact us today for a free MRI or CT scan review.