A bulging disc in the spinal column can be the result of a neck or back injury. Although not as typical as a bulging disc that develops due to age-related degeneration, a bulging disc triggered by an injury to the neck or back can be just as painful.
When an intervertebral disc in the spinal column is traumatized by any injury to the neck or back, the disc weakens and it can bulge or protrude into the spinal canal. The bulge can occur in the neck (known as a cervical bulging disc), mid-back (thoracic bulging disc) or lower back (lumbar bulging disc).
When a disc has a significant protrusion, it can put pressure on neighboring nerve tissue. This pinching of nerve roots or the spinal cord can cause pain at the precise location of the bulging disc injury along the spinal column. Additionally, pain, tingling or numbness can radiate from the disc injury location to other parts of the body, such as the hips, thighs, arms, shoulders, hands and feet.
How does a bulging disc injury occur? Several external forces can cause an intervertebral disc to “bulge,” or protrude, including:
- A car accident
- Improper body mechanics
- Work that involves repetitive bending, twisting or lifting
- Sitting, standing or driving for extended periods of time
- A severe fall impacting the back
- Repetitive jarring motions in certain sports
- Heavy lifting
Regardless of the cause of a bulging disc injury, treatments can include rest, physical therapy, exercise and medications. If the bulging disc pain and other symptoms continue after these methods have been tried for several weeks or months, open back surgery could be recommended.
If you are experiencing pain as a result of a bulging disc – whether it has been caused by injury or by degeneration due to aging – you may want to consider the minimally invasive procedures offered by Laser Spine Institute as an alternative to traditional open spine surgery. Contact us today and we will review your MRI or CT scan free of charge.