Discs are composed of cartilage layers that provide cushioning between the vertebrae in the spine. They absorb shock and support the body’s weight as the spine moves throughout the day.
Over time, spinal discs can become dehydrated or stiff, which causes the outer layer of disc cartilage to bulge outward. A bulging disc can affect anywhere between ¼ of the disc’s outer layer to the entire circumference of the outer layer.
A bulging disc differs from a herniated disc (also called a slipped disc) in that with disc herniation, the outer layer of cartilage cracks and the soft inner layer of cartilage protrudes from the disc.
Both disc issues can produce pain that ranges from moderate to debilitating.
Signs of Bulging Discs
Sometimes, bulging discs can go undiagnosed because many individuals with bulging discs attribute their symptoms to random back pain. Telltale signs of bulging discs include:
Back or neck pain that radiates into the leg or legs
Back or neck pain while sitting
Back or neck pain that worsens when bending forward, lifting objects, pushing/pulling heavy objects, coughing, sneezing
Back or neck pain that worsens significantly with sudden or sharp movements
What Causes Bulging Discs?
Bulging discs can be caused or worsened by one or several contributing factors. Age, excessive weight, back strain, or constant repetitive movements are a few key causes of disc issues.
Additionally, there are several factors that make bulging, slipped, herniated, or ruptured discs more likely to occur. These factors include:
Being between 30-50 years old
Being male (bulging discs affect men twice as often as women)
Frequently sitting in one position for extended periods
Holistic Care Options
At Charleston Pain Relief Center, our holistic medical team strives to provide patients with natural, non-invasive or minimally-invasive bulging disc care options. Not only do our providers aim to provide natural pain relief, but we also take every possible step to repair the issue at the source.
Our office provides an array of holistic protocols to help patients repair the damage done to their spinal discs, including chiropractic care, disc decompression, spinal exercises, laser therapy, and other lifestyle management techniques.