The spine is comprised of a number of elements, including intervertebral discs. These discs are located adjacent to the vertebrae, and help heighten the spinal area, cushioning the elements for optimal mobility. During the natural aging process, these intervertebral discs can lose a portion of their water mass, causing increased pressure to be placed on the outer walls of the disc. In some cases, this can cause the disc to bulge, forcing the nucleus out of the disc’s outer shell. In many cases, this bulging causes additional elements of the spine to become impinged or irritated.
What Causes Bulging Discs?
Bulging discs can be caused by a number of external circumstances. The most common cause of bulging discs is the natural aging and degeneration process, as explained above. However, bulging discs can also be caused by injury, trauma or stress to the spine. Because the intervertebral discs serve to cushion the vertebrae, any event that causes these elements to press together may result in bulging or herniation of the intervertebral discs.
Bulging Disc Symptoms
Living with a bulging disc often means suffering through a number of associated symptoms. At the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute we treat a number of these symptoms every day. Some of the most common include:
- Numbness in extremities
- Radiating pain down arms or legs
- Tingling in hands or feet
- Localized pain in neck or back
- Inability to sit or stand of long periods of time
Bulging Discs in the Neck
Bulging discs in the neck (cervical) , can cause debilitating symptoms into the arms and hands. Generally, this is seen as tingling, numbness radiating pain in the hands or arm and sometimes even weakness.
Bulging Discs in the Back
Bulging discs in the back (lumbar) , can cause patients to experience pain in the legs or feet. This is commonly seen as numbness, tingling, radiating pain in the legs or feet and sometimes weakness.
The MISI Approach to treating Bulging Disc
At the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute, we are committed to assisting our patients in finding the quality of life they deserve. Before ever recommending a surgical procedure, we urge patients to explore the available conservative treatment options. In most cases, these conservative solutions are effective in treating the associated pain and symptoms. However, for some, these treatments only succeed in bringing temporary relief. In these cases, we offer our innovative and effective minimally invasive surgical decompression and stabilization procedures.
Dr. Bryce Benbow has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.