Bulging disc caused by an injury

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.

How does an injury cause a bulging disc?

Each disc in the spine is responsible for spacing and cushioning the surrounding vertebrae. The discs allow the vertebrae to be flexible and move without contacting each other. Additionally, the discs cushion the vertebrae when the spine undergoes pressure from normal activities, such as running or lifting, and some abnormal activities, like falling or a sudden impact.

When a disc in the spine is traumatized by any injury to the neck or back, the disc becomes weakened and 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 compress a nearby nerve root, which can cause pain at the location of the bulging disc injury along the spine. Additionally, pain, tingling or numbness can radiate from the damaged disc to other parts of the body, such as the hips, thighs, arms, shoulders, hands and feet, depending on the location of the pinched nerve.

How does a bulging disc injury occur?

Several external forces can cause a disc 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

Treatments for a bulging disc caused by injury

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 may be recommended.

If you are experiencing pain as a result of a bulging disc injury, you may want to consider the minimally invasive procedures offered by Laser Spine Institute as an alternative to traditional open spine surgery. Our minimally invasive procedures offer a lower risk of complication compared to traditional open neck or back surgery.

Contact us today for a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery. Let us help you take the next step toward taking back your life from chronic neck or back pain.

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