What is a bulging disc?

A bulging disc is a common and painful condition in which the innermost nucleus of the disc in the spine applies pressure against the outer part of the disc, forming a bubble or bulge. With a bulging disc, the nucleus is still within the disc walls and the disc has not ruptured or ruptured; However, the pressure exerted on the spinal nerve root can cause extreme pain. A bulging disc can occur anywhere in the spine, but is most common in the lower back or lower back.

There are two main causes of a bulging disc: old age or a spinal injury. Symptoms vary from person to person; However, the main complaint is pain or numbness through the nerve area of ​​the back. This occurs when the bulging disc presses on the nerve roots. In some cases, there is little or no back pain, which means the bulging disc is not pressing on the nerve root. There are two main things that can happen with a bulging disc: it can heal or heal with minor treatment, or it can worsen, rupture, and require further attention.

For pain associated with a bulging disc, resting is the best treatment plan—medications only work to mask the pain and won't cure the problem. When the disc area is not painful, brisk walking and other muscle-building activities are recommended. A heating pad and a warm shower are also helpful remedies during painful periods. Physical therapy is often recommended. A good physical therapist can teach techniques to strengthen your back muscles, such as Pilates.

Fortunately, in most cases, a bulging disc will get better over time. Nearly half of people diagnosed with the disorder are cured within a month, and nearly all recover within six months. Although relatively rare, surgery may be required. But, before continuing down the surgical route, a second opinion from another doctor may be a good idea.

There are several things that can be done to prevent a bulging disc. For example, when lifting, lift with your legs, not your back. Simply bend your knees into a squat position, then lift. Having good posture and following an exercise regimen can also help prevent the condition. Lastly, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking will also decrease the chance of disc injury.

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