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Bulging discs are more common than herniated discs and may cause no pain. With a bulging disc, the disc extends outside of the space it normally occupies. Usually, it’s the tough outer layer of cartilage that is bulging, while a herniated disc cracks in the tough outer layer of cartilage. It’s a condition that can happen to anyone – young or old.
Bulging discs are generally considered part of the normal aging process which results in a degeneration of the spine. It’s not necessarily a sign of anything serious. But it does become serious if the disc bulges enough to cause the spinal canal to narrow. This may occur if there are bone spurs present on the facet joints behind the bulging disc. It is known as segmental spinal stenosis. A bulging disc can be a result of a sports injury, physically demanding job and even smoking tobacco. These factors cause the disc to weaken and deteriorate.
As the disc bulges out between the vertebrae and presses on a nerve, symptoms can be experienced in whatever part of the body that nerve serves. Symptoms may include muscle weakness, numbness and pain. And if the bulging disc presses on the spinal cord, symptoms may include increased reflexes in the legs or changes in bladder or bowel function. A bulging disc in the cervical area can cause pain near the shoulder blade or radiating pain in the upper arm and forearm. The pain from a bulging disc may start slowly and gradually worsen over time, especially during certain activities like lifting and jogging. And even if a bulging disc doesn’t cause any pain, it’s important to take the right steps for healing.
Diagnosing a bulging disc begins with a history of the problem and a physical exam. Your doctor may also perform diagnostic tests, including an X-ray, MRI or CT scan. The most common test to diagnose a bulging disc is an MRI scan. However, it may not tell the whole story and is often combined with a myelogram for more information.
Chiropractic care is highly effective treatment for a bulging disc. At Ringer Chiropractic, we offer a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates state-of-the-art medical technology using spinal decompression, manual adjustments, massage therapy and nutritional counseling. We implement massage therapy as a complimentary service to chiropractic treatment. Its benefits include an increase of blood circulation, reduction in swelling, relaxation of the muscles, quicker healing and an increase in range of motion. Your journey to wellness begins at Ringer Chiropractic. Dr. Donald Ringer at Ringer Chiropractic has years of training and experience in helping patients heal and get pain relief due to a bulging disc. He also uses the most advanced chiropractic techniques. Benefit from a complete treatment care plan that includes relief care, corrective care and wellness care.