Bulging discs are a spinal condition in which the intervertebral disc protrudes from the outer wall of the disc. The Intervertebral discs are in-between the vertebrae to provide shock absorption. The center contains a soft gel-like substance. If the disc breaks through the wall, it becomes a herniated disc. This is why it’s important to catch bulging discs early on. Treatment can help prevent or delay a herniated disc.
Lumbar bulging discs are the most common type of bulging disc. The lumbar spine is your lower back, so this type of bulging disc is in your lower back area. Because most instances of lumbar bulging discs affect the L4/L5 and L5/S1 vertebrae, typical symptoms include leg pain, tingling, numbness and weakness. If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention. Other possible symptoms of a bulging disc in the lumbar spine are hip pain, butt pain and foot pain.
A thoracic bulging disc occurs in the mid-back, though you may experience symptoms in your chest or stomach. You might think you have a heart, lung or gastrointestinal problem. Some doctors may even misdiagnose you with one of these conditions. You should seek the second opinion of a chiropractor to find out if your symptoms are actually originating from the spine.
Your cervical spine is the neck area. Cervical bulging discs could cause serious problems, such as loss of fine motor skills, difficulty walking and heaviness in your legs. Common symptoms of a cervical bulging disc are numbness, tingling and weakness in the arms and fingers.
Poor posture, repetitive motions, trauma, poor lifting techniques and contact sports could cause a bulging disc. Some people also have a genetic predisposition to bulging discs. Deterioration of the disc’s outer layer could happen faster if you are overweight, smoke or drink too much alcohol.
The different types of bulging discs come down to which part of the spine they are in. This may influence which symptoms you experience. It’s important to seek treatment for a bulging disc to prevent it from turning into a herniated disc.