Bulging disc pain occurs when an intervertebral disc protrudes into any of the tiny spaces in the spinal column where the nerve roots and the spinal cord are located. When this happens, nerve tissue is squeezed or pinched. As anyone who has ever been diagnosed with a bulging disc knows, neck or back pain from this condition – as well as the symptoms that affect other parts of the body – can be unbearable.
Interestingly, a bulging disc may show up on an MRI or CT scan (performed for any number of health reasons) before the patient ever experiences pain or other common bulging disc symptoms. That’s because a person can be symptom-free if the disc isn’t pressing on any nerve roots or the spinal cord. However, when a bulging disc is squeezing nerves in the spinal canal, it can cause pain at the site of the damaged disc, as well as pain, numbness and tingling sensations that radiate to other parts of your body, including the buttocks, lower back, legs, shoulders, arms, feet and hands.
Pain associated with a bulging disc can become worse when you move around. Any of the following activities can trigger bulging disc pain:
Intervertebral discs tend to bulge when they lose their elasticity or cushioning ability over time, which can lead them to collapse and protrude into the spinal canal. Disc deterioration is mainly caused by age or damage from a bodily injury. For more detailed information on why discs bulge and cause pain, click on our bulging disc causes page.
If your bulging disc pain is severe, you may want to consider a minimally invasive procedure offered by Laser Spine Institute to help you get relief. We will gladly review your MRI or CT scan for free to see if you are a good candidate for any of our outpatient bulging disc treatments.