Degenerative bulging disc is a phrase used to describe an intervertebral disc that has weakened due to age-related deterioration, causing the disc to protrude outward from its normal position.
Degenerative bulging discs are sometimes linked to degenerative disc disease, a malady common with aging. As people age, the wear and tear from a lifetime of physical activity causes various body parts to deteriorate. Age-related deterioration threatens the integrity of intervertebral discs. How does this happen? Intervertebral discs are made from a connective tissue containing water. As a person gets older, this connective tissue desiccates and loses its elasticity and strength. Daily activity causes minor trauma that flattens intervertebral discs. As a consequence of lost flexibility, discs do not return to their natural shape. Further, the disc’s core material pushes outward, stretching the rim of the disc. Eventually, a bulging disc is created. This process can remain undetected unless a bulging portion of disc impinges upon a surrounding nerve. When nerve roots or the spinal cord are impinged, pain and other symptoms, including numbness and tingling, can result.
Treatments that could alleviate the symptoms associated with a degenerative bulging disc include:
- Participating in regular, low-impact aerobic exercise in the form of walking or swimming. These activities increase endurance and build core strength, assisting discs in bearing the body’s weight. Activity also increases blood, nutrients and oxygen flowing to intervertebral discs via the vertebral endplates.
- Performing specific bulging disc exercises to strengthen back and abdominal muscles.
- Practicing good posture while walking, standing or sitting at the computer.
- Stretching to maximize flexibility.
- Practicing proper body mechanics when performing any task.
- Participating in bulging disc physical therapy sessions with a licensed therapist.
However, if you develop a degenerative bulging disc that is pressing on spinal nerves and causing severe pain, more aggressive medical intervention, such as spinal injections or surgery, could be required. If bulging disc surgery has been recommended by your physician, please contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our minimally invasive procedures. Our procedures have assisted thousands of people around the world with degenerative bulging disc symptoms. Studies have shown that our techniques are effective alternatives to open spine surgery. Contact Laser Spine Institute today for an evaluation of your condition.