A bulging disc is a painful and often debilitating condition that affects the spinal column. Various factors can contribute to the deterioration of a spinal disc causing a bulging disc to occur. When a bulging disc affects the neck region in particular it is commonly referred to as a cervical bulging disc.
How Do Intervertebral Discs Work?
Intervertebral discs have a sponge-like consistency, made from fibrocartilaginous material, that acts as a natural shock absorber. These discs protect the spine by acting as a cushion that prevents the vertabrae, made of rigid bone, from rubbing together. Your neck's cervical discs and vertebrae work together and allow it to move and flex with ease.
What Causes A Cervical Bulging Disc?
When a cervical disc begins to deteriorate it becomes weakened and misshapen. This causes the disc to push outwards and against the spinal cord and its surrounding nerves. A bulging cervical discs causes irritation and inflammation that is then interpreted as pain by the body. The condition often occurs naturally as a result of age but it can also be caused by trauma.
Cervical Bulging Disc Symptoms
A cervical bulging disc causes pain and inflammation that tends to spread throughout the neck, shoulders, arms and hands. One or more of the spine's vertebrae, known as C1-C7, may be affected. The condition can produce a variety of symptoms including increased soreness near the location of the bulging disc. Other common symptoms include stiffness of the neck, headaches, numbness and tingling in the extremities. Some sufferers may experience radiating pain that starts at the neck and spreads throughout the shoulders, arms, hands, wrists or fingers.
Treating A Cervical Bulging Disc
If you've been diagnosed with a cervical bulging disc it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your physician will recommend a combination of treatments that will help to minimize your pain. These treatments includes rest, physical therapy, exercise, medications, neck braces, corticosteroid injections or in severe cases surgery.
Here at Illinois Back Institute we provide comprehensive, non-invasive treatment options that work to reduce the pain often associated with bulging discs. We offer an innovative treatment known as Functional Disc Rehydration which can reduce or eliminate your painful and chronic symptoms. During your free consultation we will review your MRI or CT scan in order to determine the best route of treatment depending on your individual needs.