Many clients who experience lower back pain are unaware if their pain is linked to a lower back strain or problems with one of their spinal discs. Disc bulge, also known as a slipped disc, bulging disc or disc protrusion is actually a very common injury I see. It is an injury to the spines intervertebral disc and can occur in the cervical spine (neck) thoracic spine (upper and mid back) or the lumbar spine (lower back).
- Lifestyle Choices
- Poor Posture
- Disc Degeneration
- Pain or tingling in neck
- Radiating pain
- Muscle Spasm
- Sciatic nerve irritation
Pain and discomfort associated with a bulging disc is often the result of a combination of factors such as lifestyle choices and disc degeneration rather than linked to just one isolated cause. Unfortunately, it is common for bulging discs to occur as we age. Over time, the outer fibrous containment ring of the disc starts to weaken leading to this condition. Symptoms often remain asymptomatic for long periods of time which is why it is important to be aware of the causes of a bulging disc which may lead to further, more severe problems down the track.
Smoking emits toxins into the body that can accelerate the breakdown of the disc cartilage. Further, a poor diet, obesity, and lack of exercise can also contribute to the onset of a bulging disc.
Hunching forward, rounded shoulders, head tilted forward, these are all signs of poor posture and something many of us adopt over the years. Poor posture is a habitual behavior that can lead to repeated microtrauma on the spine. This undue stress on the spine can eventually lead to poor disc integrity. Poor posture can also lead to a muscle imbalance and increase your risk of developing a bulging disc.
The discs in your spine are designed to be like shock absorbers allowing your body to be flexible. Over time, the vertebral discs start to lose water and elasticity, becoming increasingly weaker. The weight of your body eventually compresses the aging cartilage, leading to the outer layer of the disc bulging into the spinal cavity.
In more serious cases, a disc bulge may herniate where the outer part of the disc ruptures and the inner material seeps out. The seeping material is then able to put pressure on the spinal cord which can cause an enormous amount of pain. Herniated discs are difficult to distinguish from other spinal problems as there is a large amount of overlap with the symptoms of a disc herniation.
I aim to provide the highest level of care possible to all our patients. A comprehensive examination will be done to identify the exact cause of your symptoms before a treatment plan is put in place.
I have seen and successfully treated many patients with severe disc bulge findings on MRI or CT scans. A disc bulge does not necessarily mean you need to undergo surgery. Surgery should be a last resort as most cases can be treated effectively using our unique, comprehensive and holistic approach.
During a comprehensive examination of your individual symptoms, our consultants will investigate and find out the true cause of your symptoms and identify all risk factors that may have developed which have led to your symptoms. A traditional medical approach is usually tunnel-visioned and inadequate to solve the complex nature of the lower back and spine if treatment is only performed on the painful areas.
If you are suffering from disc bulge symptoms, why not make an appointment or request a 5 min Free Consultation.