If you’re experiencing a disc protrusion and the possible related symptoms – such as neck pain, back pain, weakness, numbness or tingling – you know just how troublesome this condition can be. Your favorite activities, such as golfing, playing in the yard with the kids or jogging, might become nearly impossible, and even routine activities like walking around or sitting comfortably at your desk at work can become painful affairs, too. However, the first step toward treating a disc protrusion is to learn more about this spinal condition.
What is a disc protrusion?
Your spinal vertebrae are cushioned by spongy, shock-absorbing bodies called intervertebral discs. These discs naturally degenerate over time as part of the aging process and can deteriorate due to injury or misuse. As part of the natural progression of degenerative disc disease, a disc can often be deformed through three different stages:
- Bulging disc – The disc’s inner material pushes beyond its normal boundary and into the thick outer wall, creating a bulge.
- Disc protrusion – This occurs when the bulge is still contained within the outer wall, yet is pushing even further into the spinal column.
- Herniated disc – The disc’s outer wall finally gives way, allowing the inner material of the disc to leak out.
Interestingly, these degenerative disc conditions don’t necessarily result in any symptoms on their own. It’s when a disc bulges or becomes herniated and compresses a spinal nerve that problems like pain, numbness, tingling and weakness can arise. Treatment options for this kind of disc pain often include conservative methods like medication, rest, weight loss, exercise, physical therapy and more, but for a certain percentage of patients these treatments don’t produce the desired reduction in back pain, and surgery becomes an option.
More effective outpatient procedures
If a disc protrusion or other degenerative disc condition is causing you severe symptoms that have lasted for weeks and months and haven’t responded to conservative treatments, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our state-of-the-art procedures are more effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery and can help you find meaningful relief from your neck or back pain.