A posterior bulging disc is a medical term for an intervertebral disc that has bulged toward the “posterior,” or back, of your spinal column. Posterior bulging discs are quite common, as abnormal disc bulges tend to occur when people are bending forward. This action causes discs to be squeezed on the anterior side (stomach side) of the spinal column, causing a protrusion toward the back part of the spinal column.
In order to understand this, let’s look at the structure of the spinal column. The spinal column consists of vertebrae, or bones, stacked up vertically from the base of your neck to your lower back. In between each of these vertebrae are intervertebral discs made up of a spongy material. This flexible material acts like a shock absorber, or cushion, in between each of your vertebrae. So, when you sit, stand, bend, run, walk, or swing a golf club, your spine can flex and move like it’s supposed to.
As we age, the spongy material in the discs can lose elasticity. Discs also can be damaged by an injury. Any disc damage or deterioration can cause the disc to weaken and bulge as a person goes about everyday activities, such as bending over and lifting an object. If the bulge is big enough, it starts pressing on nerve tissue, causing neck pain, back pain, tingling, numbness, and other symptoms. These symptoms can be felt at the site of the posterior bulging disc, or the pain can radiate to other parts of the body, depending on where the affected disc is located in the spinal canal.
A posterior bulging disc can be located in any segment of the spinal canal. For instance:
- A lumbar bulging disc would be situated in the lower back, or lumbar region.
- A cervical bulging disc would be located in the neck area, or cervical region.
- A thoracic bulging disc would be situated in the thoracic, or mid-back region.
If you suspect that you have a posterior bulging disc anywhere along your spinal column, you should see a doctor to learn about your bulging disc treatment options. One of your options may be a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure performed by the surgeons at the Laser Spine Institute (LSI). Contact us today, and we can discuss treatment choices and perform a free review of your MRI or CT scan.