Posterior bulging disc
A posterior bulging disc is a medical term for a spinal disc that has bulged toward the posterior, or back, of the spinal column. Posterior bulging discs are relatively common, as abnormal disc bulges tend to occur when people are bending forward. This action causes discs to be compressed on the anterior side (stomach side) of the spinal column, causing a protrusion toward the back part of the spinal column.
How a posterior bulging disc occurs
To better understand this, let’s examine the structure of the spinal column. The spinal column consists of a stack of bones called vertebrae running from the base of your neck to your lower back. Between each of these vertebrae are shock-absorbing discs made up of cartilage and other soft tissues. This flexible material lets the spine bend and twist, allowing you to run, walk or swing a golf club.
As we grow older, the tissues in the discs can lose elasticity. Discs can also be damaged by an injury. Any disc damage or deterioration can cause the disc to weaken and bulge as a person goes about everyday activities, such as bending over and lifting an object.
If the bulge is big enough or located in the wrong area, it starts pressing on nerve tissue, causing neck pain, back pain, tingling, numbness and other symptoms. These symptoms can be felt at the site of the posterior bulging disc, or the pain can radiate to other parts of the body, depending on the location of the affected disc in the spinal column.
A posterior bulging disc can be located in any segment of the spinal column that has discs. For instance:
- A cervical bulging disc would be located in the neck area, or cervical region.
- A thoracic bulging disc would be situated in the thoracic, or mid-back region.
- A lumbar bulging disc would be situated in the lower back, or lumbar region.
If you believe that you have a posterior bulging disc anywhere along your spinal column, you should visit a physician to learn about your posterior bulging disc treatment options. While conservative options are usually effective for relieving symptoms, surgery can become an option if weeks or months go by without improvement.
One of your options may be a minimally invasive spine surgery performed by the surgeons at Laser Spine Institute. These procedures reduce the risk and difficulty associated with traditional open back surgery by using a smaller, muscle-sparing incision to access the spine and remove posterior bulging disc material. Our outpatient procedures also lead to a shorter recovery time§ and less risk of infection than traditional open spine surgery.
Contact our Care Team today for your no-cost MRI review* to see if you may be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive spine procedures.