Bulging & Herniated Discs
What is Bulging & Herniated Discs Disease?
A herniated disk, also referred to as a bulging, slipped, or ruptured disk is a very common condition that causes back pain. It involves the gel-like fill spinal disc that sit in between your vertebrae. These discs are oval in shape and serve as shock absorbers for the vertebra in your spine. In addition to being shock absorbers, your intervertebral discs give you flexibility and protect your spinal cord from certain types of damage.
To understand the makeup of your intervertebral discs, think about a jelly filled donut. The outer layer of the doughnut is relatively tough when compared to the jelly on the inside. This outer layer of the doughnut is comparable to the annulus fibrosus, or the external layer of your spinal disc. The jelly on the inside of the doughnut is comparable to the gel-like center, or the nucleus pulposus, of your intervertebral disc.
When these disc walls become overly stretched, they begin to bulge outside of the spinal column and pinch surrounding nerves.
What causes Bulging & Herniation of the Discs?
The most common reason is the gradual deterioration of your disc as you age. Your discs serve as shock absorbers. When you move, when you jump, and even when you step, they help to control the force that the ground exerts on your body. As you get older, your spinal discs will lose some of their water content. They are less flexible, and they are more likely to rupture or twist.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to pinpoint the moment when you herniated your disc. It could have been when you tried to lift a heavy object. Or it could have been that you lifted a heavy object and you twisted or turned. In rare occurrences, a herniated disc results from falling or getting struck in the back.
ADDITIONAL RISK FACTORS
Everyone can develop a herniated disc. You may have some additional risk factors making you more susceptible to a herniated disc. Some of these risk factors include:
- Weight. When you’re overweight, you put extra stress on the discs in your lower back.
- Job. If your job is physically demanding, especially if it requires you to repetitive tilting, pushing, bending, or twisting, you’re at higher risk for a herniated disc.
- Genetics. Herniated discs run in the family. If your parents had them, it is likely you will have them as well.
What are the symptoms of Bulging & Herniated Discs?
Like any injury or medical condition, your body gives off signals to let you know what is wrong. When it comes to a herniated disc, some of those warning signs include:
- Arm or leg pain
- Burning sensation
- Muscle weakness
Don’t take chances with your health by thinking you can “tough out” the pain. Pain signals are your body’s way of alerting you there is a problem and should seek a solution. Our providers stand ready to relieve your degenerative disc pain today!
Treating and Diagnosing Herniated and Bulging Discs
Typically, diagnosing bulging and herniated discs begins with a physical examination as well as a series of questions pertaining to your medical history. Your doctor will be interested in the extent of your symptoms, when the pain started, and how the pain is affecting your range of motion.
Your doctor may recommend an MRI or CT scan coupled with x-rays. Once it has been determined that you have a herniated or bulging disc, our team can work with you in creating a non-invasive or minimally invasive treatment plan designed to get to the heart of your problem.
We understand that the pain herniated and bulging discs cause can be debilitating. The pain can make you feel like you are unable to enjoy time with friends and family, and it can make it difficult for you to go about your everyday activities.
We know from first-hand experience that disc-related pain can be treated. It is not something that you need to live with. If you are tired of the way that disc pain is affecting your life, contact us. Let us show you how our minimally invasive and non-invasive treatments can work for you.