While a bulging disc is considered by many healthcare professionals to be a normal part of aging, it can still cause a great deal of pain. In some cases, however, it can cause no symptoms at all. If a bulging disc does cause discomfort, a chiropractor can often help relieve the pain. Here are the basics on this issue, from Premier Chiropractic Fayetteville Accident and Injury Center, in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Bulging Disc – Definition
While people often use terms like disc disease, herniated disc, ruptured disc, and bulging disc interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Disc disease typically refers to degeneration of the discs between the spinal vertebrae. A bulging disc is exactly what it sounds like – the disc bulges outside of its normal space, much as a partially inflated balloon squishes when you apply pressure. A herniated or ruptured disc results from an actual tear in the outer layer of the disc, which allows the soft inner material to intrude into the spinal canal.
Causes and Symptoms
As people age, the discs begin to dry out and lose their cushioning effect. An injury or chronic problems like poor posture or incorrect body mechanics can also cause additional stress on the disc. Smoking can weaken the discs and make them deteriorate more quickly. The symptoms of a bulging disc will be slightly different depending on the location of the disc. Pain in the area is one possible symptom. If the disc is actually pressing on the spinal cord or other nerves, you may have numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms or legs. Muscle spasms may occur and in severe cases, bowel and bladder function can be affected.
Treating a Bulging Disc
Most patients who have one or more bulging discs can be managed with conservative therapy. In some cases, the symptoms resolve without treatment, although it may take several months. One advantage of chiropractic treatment is that the chiropractor will evaluate the entire spine and musculoskeletal system. If you have changed your gait or body mechanics to cope with the symptoms, the chiropractor can correct these problems as well. Joint dysfunction or restriction anywhere in the spine usually responds to adjustments, while massage, corrective exercises and lifestyle recommendations can improve overall health. Nutritional counseling ensures you avoid inflammatory foods that can make the problem worse and that micro-nutrient deficiency is not contributing to the problem.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
If you have low back pain or other musculoskeletal symptoms, please contact Premier Chiropractic Fayetteville Accident and Injury Center by calling 910-400-4210. Located at 2819 Bragg Boulevard in Fayetteville, we treat patients of all ages. Chiropractic care is non-invasive and drug-free and our focus is not just symptom relief but overall wellness.