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Bulging discs are a normal spine condition experienced by most people. The spine contains 33 bones, or vertebrae, with a doughnut-shaped disc, cushioned between many of them. As the surrounding bones push into the discs, they flex and naturally bulge, allowing for movement and flexibility in the spine.
Most people with bulged discs will live their entire lives without any problems or symptoms. However, when spinal discs deteriorate too quickly, the discs can bulge excessively and lead to complications and pain.
Reduce your risk.
There are many causes of bulging discs and it’s a common problem as people age. Here are a few of the reasons people may experience bulging discs:
Wear & Tear: It’s natural for discs to deteriorate over time, which makes them more prone to bulging during day-to-day activity. Also, the way you sit, sleep or stand can also put a strain on the body that will cause a bulged disc over time. Maintaining good posture and avoiding unnatural positions can help prevent bulging discs.
Occupational and recreational activities can also cause bulging discs if you are sedentary or perform repetitive tasks throughout the day. People with desk jobs and those who frequently lift, bend or stand are at an increased risk of bulging discs.
Injury: Contact sports and other athletic activities can put an unnatural strain on the back and body, leading to bulging discs from accelerated disc deterioration or injury.
Obesity: Excessive weight on the body can put a strain on the back as well, which can also cause bulged discs in some people. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent bulging discs.
Pinpoint your pain.
Many people with bulging discs don’t experience any symptoms and can maintain ordinary, healthy lives. When symptoms of bulging discs do occur, it’s typically the result of the bulged disc impacting the nerves or spinal cord and those symptoms will vary based on the disc’s location. As a result, it can be challenging for people to diagnose bulged discs without the expertise of an orthopaedic doctor. However, common symptoms of bulging discs include:
In some extreme cases, bulging discs may also lead to a loss of bladder or bowel control.
Get the answers you need.
Kayal Pain & Spine Center experts will initially diagnose your bulging disc based on your history and symptoms and may have the potential diagnosis corroborated by a physiotherapist. Imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan will then be used to confirm the diagnosis, providing an accurate view of the discs within your spine.
Life’s too short to put up with pain.
Numerous treatments are available for bulging discs and your Kayal Pain & Spine Center specialist will work with you to identify the optimal treatment for your needs. In many cases, conservative treatments that include rest, over-the-counter medication and physical therapy can alleviate the symptoms of bulging discs.
Minimally invasive surgery is also an option when conservative approaches don’t provide relief. Your Kayal Pain & Spine Center doctor may discuss laminectomy, laminotomy, disc replacement or other simple surgical procedures, depending on the location and symptoms of your bulging disc.