Disc protrusion occurs when one of the intervertebral discs in your spine extends past its normal boundary. Disc protrusion is also commonly referred to as a bulging disc. Disc protrusion can be caused by a number of factors, but the primary one is aging. With aging, discs lose water content and elasticity. They may become harder, thinner, and/or deformed. This is a natural part of the aging process. These changes are often collectively grouped under the term degenerative disc disease.
Effects of a Disc Protrusion
Getting older is unavoidable, as is the natural deterioration of intervertebral discs. However, this does not necessarily mean that everyone will experience symptoms of disc protrusion or other discogenic conditions as they age. No symptoms occur unless protrusion produces compression on a nearby spinal nerve. When this happens, the symptoms can be potentially debilitating. They can include:
While there is no cure for aging, there are some very effective treatments for age-related disc conditions such as disc protrusion and their symptoms. After consulting your physician about your condition and symptoms, he or she will likely prescribe a variety of nonsurgical, conservative treatments such as pain medication, hot/cold therapy, physical therapy, stretching, or others. If these conservative options fail to bring satisfactory pain relief after a few weeks or months, contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about our minimally invasive, endoscopic surgical procedures and how they may help you recover your life.