Normally, soft jelly-like discs that rest between the vertebrae (bony segments that make up the spine) are compressible, which allows the spine to react to motion and pressure without damage. When these discs become damaged, pain and difficulty can occur while moving. A bulging disc is when the interior of the disc pushes up against the disc’s membrane, creating an outward push of the interior substance. These bulges can put pressure on the spinal nerves.
Bulging discs can occur for several reasons. Many come from the usual wear and tear that comes from aging. Degenerative disc disease – a condition that also develops as one gets older – also contributes to bulging discs. Lifestyle such as a non-active lifestyle, habitual smoking, or bad postures from daily office or warehouse work may disrupt the spine enough that the discs may react negatively. It’s important to note that not all bulging discs bring pain symptoms. Some people may go through their whole life with a bulging disc and not notice, as it ends up not putting any pressure on nerve roots.
Depending on your disc’s location, and how you are feeling the pain, non-invasive methods of treatment may be enough to alleviate the condition. These treatments usually involve a combination of lifestyle changes, oral medication, and physical therapy. If non-invasive methods don’t lead to feeling better, then it may be necessary to undergo a surgical procedure. Micro-spine surgery allows medical experts to operate on the bone spur without irritating or disrupting the surrounding area, giving many patients the opportunity to walk out of the hospital the same day they take the surgery.
If you are in the New Jersey area and require treatment for a bulging disc, contact one of the Spine Institute’s locations today to set up an appointment. Although surgery is often the last option when it comes to treating back pain, we can help guide you on the best procedure to take when other options fail.
- Pain isolated to one side of the body.
- Pain that gets worse after standing or sitting.
- Muscle Weakness
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Lifestyle changes like diet and exercise
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- Laser spine surgery