What is a posterior bulging disc?
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. Read on to learn what to expect during a bulging disc occurrence as well as the treatment options available for this condition.
How does a posterior bulging disc occur?
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 or lifting an object.
If the bulge is big enough or located in a certain 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 region
- A thoracic bulging disc would be situated in the mid back region
- A lumbar bulging disc would be situated in the lower back region
Treatment options for a posterior bulging disc
If you believe that you have a posterior bulging disc anywhere along your spinal column, you should visit a doctor 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 use a less than 1-inch 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 dedicated team today for more information on our minimally invasive procedures performed at our facilities located conveniently throughout the country.
We can assist you by performing a no-cost MRI review* to see if you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.