A Bulging Disc Might Be the Source of Back Pain
A bulging disc in the back may be a source of tremendous pain. The condition can also cause other symptoms to be felt, including stiffness at the site of the disc bulge, numbness, tingling, a sense of heat or pins and needles, muscles spasms, and muscle weakness throughout the lower body. Frustratingly, these symptoms are also known to arise as a result of other conditions, including spondylolisthesis (vertebral slippage) or spinal osteoarthritis and the presence of a bone spur. Only a doctor can determine whether the condition troubling you is a bulging disc or another spinal abnormality instead.
Why Do Discs Bulge?
Bulging discs are actually fairly common and typically do not present a life-threatening situation. Intervertebral discs can bulge for a number of different reasons. Age is a key determinant of a bulging disc in the lower back. As we grow older, our intervertebral discs lose their ability to retain moisture, leaving them inflexible and weak. After some time of this normal disc degeneration, the pressure and weight that the disc must support from the body may become too much for the disc to handle. Eventually, a weakened disc may protrude beyond its normal parameters as a result.
What to Do About a Bulging Disc in the Back
If you are experiencing unexplained pain in your lower back or any of the other aforementioned symptoms throughout your lower body, it is wise to see your doctor immediately. He or she will go through a diagnostic process with you and come to a conclusion about the source of your symptoms. Medical imaging exams, such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan, may be sought out to assist in the diagnostic process and confirm a diagnosis. After the diagnosis is ascertained, your doctor will then develop a treatment plan for you to help alleviate your symptoms and help you learn to manage them more effectively.