Bulging intervertebral discs are very common and many who have them don’t even realize that they have a back problem. There may be no pain from multiple bulging discs--as long as they aren’t pressing upon surrounding nerve tissues. Once a bulging disc impacts the nerves of the spine, pain and other symptoms begin. Emanating from the lower back, damaged discs may cause radiating pain through the hips and buttocks on through the legs and to the feet. In the thoracic area, bulging discs cause pain in the upper back, chest and stomach that may mimic problems with the heart, lungs and intestinal tract. Occasionally, bulging discs may cause pain that travels from the cervical spine in the neck area down through the arms and fingers, although bulging discs in the lower back occur much more often.
What’s happening in my spine?
The function of the discs is to cushion the vertebrae and act as spacers between them. Bulging discs result from a weakening of the outer fibrous cartilage of the disc, some of which is inevitable due to aging. Multiple bulging discs can occur from sports injuries, improper posture, obesity, improper position when lifting heavy objects and weak core muscles providing inadequate support to the body.
As the weakened perimeter of the discs begins to bulge and swell, pressure on surrounding nerves can begin, bringing dull, sharp or burning pain. Weakness, muscle spasm and tingling in the legs are also prevalent. Symptoms can get worse when coughing, sneezing or bending over. Lumbar bulging discs, the vast majority of cases, occur in the area between the waist and hips around vertebrae labeled L1 to L5 (or L6 in some people).
Non-invasive bulging disc treatments
There are many bulging disc treatments that can help affected individuals find relief from pain and regain mobility. One of the best treatments is prevention, so do your best to:
- Protect your back when lifting and use proper form
- Improve your body mechanics, such as posture
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly with an emphasis on core muscles that support body weight
- Control stress with yoga, meditation or what works best for you
When pain hits:
- Rest, but not for more than a day or two
- Apply warm compresses
- Anti-inflammatory medication can be used at the smallest effective dose
- Work with a physical therapist
- See a back specialist at the Illinois Back Institute
- Sleep on your back with knees propped up, or on your side with a pillow between your legs to ease pressure on lumbar spine and discs.
Important: If you experience loss of bladder or bowel control due to a lumbar bulging disc, seek emergency medical care immediately.
For lasting relief, rejuvenate the spine
A revolutionary, non-invasive bulging disc treatment from the Illinois Back Institute called Functional Disc Rehydration™ offers hope to patients who often feel they’ve tried everything. In contrast to painful, frustrating therapies, Dr. Jeff Winternheimer’s innovative back treatment effectively treats multiple bulging discs and eliminates pain by restoring youthful hydration to spinal discs.
To learn more about treatment for multiple bulging spinal discs, visit The Illinois Back Institute online. For back pain relief without invasive treatment, contact us for a free consultation today.