Bulging disc symptoms vary depending on the severity and location of the condition. The problem develops when a disc’s tough outer layer (annulus fibrosus) gradually weakens and allows the inner, softer material (nucleus pulposus) to protrude outward and into the spinal column.
Severe pain can occur in the area of the bulge, and a host of other symptoms can also affect the torso, arms and legs:
- Muscle spasms or cramping
The location of symptoms will vary, based on the region of the spine where the nerve impingement occurred. For instance, if the condition occurs in the lower back, or lumbar region of the spine, there is a higher chance that the bulge will impinge on the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve runs from either side of the base of the spinal cord, past the buttocks and down through each leg. If the sciatic nerve is disturbed, the symptoms typically arise in the legs and feet, a condition known as sciatica.
If the bulge develops in the neck, or cervical region, numbness and tingling may be felt in the shoulders, arms, and fingers.
Are all Bulging Discs Painful?
Doctors have found through MRI and CT scans that the majority of people with a bulging disc do not experience pain. Discomfort usually occurs only when the bulge interferes with a nerve root or the spinal cord.
If you are suffering from back and neck pain, contact Laser Spine Institute today to schedule a complimentary MRI and CT scan review. Let our orthopedic specialists assist you in deciding which of our various advanced endoscopic procedures is right for you, and start the journey toward rediscovering your life without back or neck pain.