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Herniated Disc
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LOWER BACK PAIN

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What is a bulging disc?

 

A bulging disc is a condition related to the spine, usually the lower back, occurring when a disc bulges through a crevice in the spine. It happens when the disc shifts out of its normal radius and most often occurs simply as a result of age.

 

A bulging disc is different from a herniated disc in that it typically occurs gradually over time – rather than suddenly by trauma or injury. In the majority of patients who experience a bulging disc, there is no pain unless the disc becomes herniated or protrudes into a nerve.

 

In many cases, a bulging disc may be diagnosed as a condition secondary to another problem. Because a bulging disc does not always cause pain, it may only be found during a routine or diagnostic imaging test such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Typically, a bulging disc is not a problem unless it begins to cause pain, becomes herniated or ruptures.

 

What are the symptoms of a bulging disc?

Bulging disc symptoms depend on the location. Some patients may experience symptoms of pain and discomfort in the legs and feet, others in the arms and in other regions of the body. The diagnosis for bulging discs is usually made after a complete medical history has been taken and MRIs, CT scans, and/or X-rays have confirmed the presence of bulging.

 

If you have a back bulging disc in your neck, not only will you have neck pain, but you may also develop problems with your arms and hands, chest pains, heart problems, headaches, and even blurred vision and ringing in the ears.

Bulging Discs in the middle back will result in mid back pain, traveling pain around the rib cage, chest pains, and even digestive problems (because the nerves in the middle back control the gall bladder and liver, which are important for digestion).

In the lower back, a back bulging disc will cause low back pain, pain traveling down the legs, weakness in the legs and an inability to walk, as well as problems with your bowel and bladder.

In fact, these other symptoms related to the spinal nerves tend to be even more aggravating than the back pain associated with a back bulging disc because they really interfere with a person’s normal daily activities.

The cause of bulging vertebral discs is usually a trauma of some sort. Whether it be a car accident, or lifting something heavy, these are the types of traumas that may cause this condition to develop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
         

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Patient Resources

Anatomy of The Lower Back  -  Misdiagnosing Low Back Pain  -  Functions of The Low Back  -  Before Your Surgery  -  After Spine Surgery

Spine Surgery Questions  -  Anatomy of The Spine  -  Back Pain Definitions  -  Obesity and back pain  -  Orthopedic Surgeons  -  Spine Surgeons

Back Pain Myths  -  Back Pain Medication

 

 

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