Your spinal discs cushion the vertebrae, absorb shock, and support spine movement. Discs accomplish their jobs thanks to their structure; an inner gel-like core surrounded by a tough outer covering.
Over time, the outer cover loses moisture and weakens. These natural changes cause the outer rim of the cover to bulge out from between the vertebrae, creating a bulging disc.
You develop a herniated disc when a weak spot in the outer cover allows the inner gel to protrude out. The inner substance can spill out of the disc if the outer surface ruptures.
A bulging disc may occur anywhere in your spine, but most often develops in the lower back. Depending on the location of the problem, you may experience symptoms such as:
Pain develops when your spine loses its natural cushion, and when the bulging disc pushes against a nerve.
After verifying the presence of a bulging disc with a physical exam and diagnostic imaging, such as an ultrasound or MRI performed in the office, your treatment may begin with:
If your pain persists, your provider may recommend additional regenerative, interventional, or surgical treatments.
When you need treatment beyond conservative therapies, your provider may recommend one of the following options:
Platelet-rich plasma and stem cell injections may relieve ongoing pain by accelerating the healing process and repairing damaged tissues in the disc.
Interventional techniques relieve your pain by reducing nerve inflammation or blocking the pain signals that travel through the nerve to your brain. Interventional procedures include epidural steroid injections, selective nerve root blocks, and spinal cord stimulation.
The team at Goodlife Physical Medicine has extensive experience performing minimally invasive spine procedures in their state-of-the-art surgical facility.
To relieve a bulging disc, they may perform a Dekompressor® discectomy or a percutaneous disc nucleoplasty. Both procedures remove a small amount of the inner gel, relieving the pressure and reducing the bulge.
If you have back or neck pain, d call Goodlife Physical Medicine or book an appointment online today to learn about your treatment options for a bulging disc.