A bulging spinal disc often puts pressure on the surrounding nerves which can lead to a substantial amount of pain. The nerve pain caused by a bulging disc can travel and radiate to other areas of the body. For example, when a disc bulges in the lower back it can affect the sciatic nerve, which extends downward through the glutes and legs. At AmeriWell Clinics we understand that living with the pain and mobility restriction associated with a bulging disc can be miserable, or even debilitating, and we want to help.
Bulging Disc or Herniated Disc?
The terms “bulging disc” and “herniated disc” are typically used interchangeably; however, there are several significant differences between these two conditions. A bulging disc is not a break—the outer wall of the disc remains intact. A herniated disc, on the other hand, has just a partial tear, or rupture, in the disc. The difference exists in whether the disc is contained or non-contained. Both bulging and herniated discs can put pressure on the nerves surrounding them, causing significant pain.
- Bulging Cervical Disc
A bulging cervical disc is one that occurs in the neck. These neck vertebrae are known as the cervical spine and range in number from C1 to C7. A bulging cervical disc can cause pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling. The pain from a bulging cervical disc can radiate from the neck and shoulders to the arms, hands, and fingers.
- Bulging Thoracic Disc
The thoracic spine starts at the collarbone and ends at the bottom of the rib cage. The thoracic spinal vertebrae range from T1 to T12. Bulging discs in this area are uncommon. When they do occur, though, they cause pain in the upper back, which can radiate to the stomach and chest.
- Bulging Lumbar Disc
The lumbar spine consists of five vertebrae that range from L1 to L5. They start at the waist and end at the top of the hips. Bulging discs in this area are quite common. Symptoms of a bulging disc and nerve irritation in the lumbar spine include low back pain, leg pain, and numbness in the feet or toes. Symptoms may vary widely depending on which of the lumbar vertebrae are affected.
What Causes a Bulging Disc?
Bulging discs are more common than most people think. This is because the outer layer of the intervertebral disc weakens during the aging process. Although age is a factor, other things can also cause a bulging disc. Other causes include genetics, trauma, postural issues, and repetitive stress movements. Factors that can speed up the process include obesity, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.
Chiropractic Treatment for Bulging Discs
AmeriWell Clinics, such as the chiropractic clinic in Riverdale, MD, offers non-surgical options for helping patients recover from a bulging disc. These often include chiropractic spinal adjustments and other manual restorative therapies. Conservative therapies like this may help you delay or even prevent invasive surgical procedures. If you would like to find out more about how AmeriWell Clinics can help your bulging disc or other spinal issues, contact us today to set up a consultation.
Thanks to AmeriWell Clinics for their insight into treating bulging discs.