The human spine is a complex system of bones, ligaments, and other connective tissues that work together to protect the spinal cord and give us the ability to move. But what happens when there’s a problem in this system? Let our Salt Lake City Chiropractor explain.
It’s not uncommon for people to experience problems with their spines, such as back pain, neck pain, and more. But beyond these painful symptoms, there are a variety of other conditions that can develop. One of these is a bulging disc in the spine. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about this condition and what it means for your health.
Everything You Need to Know About Budging Disc in Spine
A bulging disk in the spine is a condition in which a disc that sits between the vertebrae of your spine bulges out, pressing on nerves and causing pain. The bulge may be caused by a herniated disc, which occurs when the tough outer layer of the intervertebral disc tears and allows some of its inner jelly-like center to leak out.
In medical terms, when the nucleus shifts into the spinal canal, it is called a herniated disc or slipped disc. This can happen when cracks form in the outer protective layers of an intervertebral disc (IVD), allowing some of its inner gelatinous material to push through. The jelly-like substance that leaks out causes pressure on your spinal nerves, which then results in pain. If a herniated disc is not treated, it can cause further damage to the spinal column and nerves. This can result in more pain, weakness, or numbness, which may spread down your arms and legs.
3 Complications of Bulging Discs
1) Continuous Back and Leg Pain
Bulging discs are a common cause of back pain. If you have bulging discs in the spine, the disc near the outer edge of the vertebrae can bulge out and press on nerves, causing pain. Bulging discs can also cause leg pain because when the disc bulges out, it puts pressure on nearby nerves that travel down into your legs.
Bulging discs are often caused by aging or repetitive movements like lifting heavy objects. Injuries to the spine can also cause bulging discs.
Bulging discs can cause several complications:
- Pain in your neck and back
- Pain that radiates down into your legs
- Weakness in your legs
- Numbness in one or both legs
As we mentioned above, bulging discs are a common cause of back pain. But another complication of bulging discs is that they can become herniated. This means that the disc material protrudes through the outer layer of the disc and into the spinal canal. This can put pressure on your spinal cord and surrounding nerves, which can cause a host of symptoms, including numbness or weakness in your legs, pain radiating down your legs, and tingling in your toes or fingers.
A herniated disc can cause serious complications if you don’t address it quickly—in some cases leading to paralysis and even death. And while some herniations may resolve on their own with time or conservative treatments like physical therapy and medication, others need surgery to correct them. If you have any symptoms associated with a bulging disc or herniation—even if they seem minor at first—you should see a doctor right away to make sure there’s no permanent damage being done!
3) Risk of Permanent Nerve Damage
Maybe you’ve been experiencing back pain for a while, and it’s just gotten worse. Or maybe you’ve never had any problems before. Either way, one of the complications of bulging discs in the back is that they can cause permanent nerve damage.
This is one of the most dreaded complications because it can have a long-term effect on your quality of life, even after your back pain has gone away. This complication can make it difficult to do things like walk or stand for long periods of time, which means that you may be forced to limit your activities and to socialize—or worse, quit your job entirely!
Luckily, there are many treatments available for this complication so that you can avoid permanent nerve damage. Make sure to talk with your doctor about how to treat this complication as soon as possible so that it doesn’t become an issue later on down the road!
Bulging discs are a common cause of back pain, but they are not the only ones. If you have been experiencing back pain for an extended period of time, it is important to see your doctor so that they can rule out other conditions that may be causing your pain. Bulging discs can be treated with non-surgical methods like physical therapy and chiropractic care; however, surgery is often necessary if there is nerve compression involved.
So, if you have been experiencing back pain for an extended period of time and have not found relief with conservative treatment, it is important to see your doctor. They will be able to perform a thorough examination and determine what causes your back pain and whether surgery is necessary.
Dr. Hedstrom began his studies at the University of Iowa and continued his studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida where he was a Cum Laude graduate of the doctoral program. Learn more about Dr. Dustin Hedstrom, D.C.