Bulging disc is a spinal condition that occurs when the annulus fibrosus, which is the tough outer layer of an intervertebral disc, is compromised and allows the nucleus pulposus, which is the jelly-like inner layer of the disc, to push out past the normal limits. In most cases, this is a benign condition that doesn't produce any symptoms. However, if the disc bulges too far, it can press on a nearby nerve root or even the spinal cord.
Bulging Disc Symptoms
Depending on how much pressure it exerts on a nerve root or the spinal cord, a bulging disc can cause symptoms that range from mild to debilitating. These symptoms will be felt in specific areas of the body depending on which nerve the disc presses upon. For example, a lumbar bulging disc will cause symptoms in the lower back, legs, buttocks, and feet because the nerves in the lumbar region are responsible for transmitting signals to these areas.
These symptoms can include:
- Pins and needles
- Muscle spasms
Bulging Disc Treatments
Bulging disc treatment regimens usually begin with conservative techniques and include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Spinal decompression
- Steroid injections (epidural)
- Alternating hot/cold compresses
- Physical therapy
If these conservative techniques do not relief the symptoms enough to allow the sufferer to live a happy, fulfilling life, then surgery may be the only chance left to obtain relief. For more information on bulging disc causes, symptoms, and treatments, contact Laser Spine Institute. We offer a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan to determine whether or not you're a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures and will also be glad to discuss your other treatment options.