If you experience chronic back pain, a bulging disk may be the cause. This common condition can have debilitating side effects that drastically impact your lifestyle. The staff at O’Fallon Pain Relief Associates in St. Charles County, MO, help patients address this treatable condition through a variety of approaches that alleviate discomfort and prevent it from happening again. Here, they answer some common questions about this issue and how it is treated.
4 FAQs About Bulging Disks
What Is a Bulging Disk?
Not to be confused with a herniated disk, a bulging disk occurs when the soft tissue between two vertebrae swells and becomes dislodged. The swollen tissue puts pressure on the ligaments surrounding the disk, contributing to regular pain. In an MRI, the tissue will appear to be bulging and misshapen.
What Is the Cause of This Condition?
Bulging disks are most commonly caused by age. As the soft tissue in the spine dries out and weakens, it becomes more susceptible to pressure and bulging. Daily activities like heavy lifting and vigorous exercise can force the tissue out of place, leading to this painful condition. Other causes include previous trauma, obesity, and poor posture.
What Are the Most Common Symptoms?
In addition to seeing a visible bulge on an MRI, you may experience shooting pain down the spine. As the disk bulges, it can compress the spinal nerves, leading to pain in various parts of the body, including the legs, chest, and neck and shoulders. However, some people experience no pain. Instead, they might feel weakness in the limbs or lose motor skills.
How Is It Treated?
Most bulging disks can be treated with a basic regimen of exercise and pain management. Using specialized techniques both at home and in a physical therapy setting, the issue can be controlled within weeks or months, depending on the severity. If pain persists, surgery is an option, though is only reserved for the most serious cases.
If you are dealing with pain from a bulging disk and require rehabilitation, then turn to the specialists at O’Fallon Pain Relief Associates. They offer a variety of pain management services that help people regain control of their lives. Call (636) 978-3000 today to schedule a consultation, and visit their website and Facebook page to learn more about their practice.