Bulging discs are one of the most serious conditions a person could suffer with related to the spine. In fact, this condition can cause intense pain as well as disability. This article will discuss what a bulging disc is, what causes it, the most common symptoms associated with it, as well as the most effective treatments available.
In order for us to understand what bulging discs are, however, we must first discuss what a normal spinal disc is. The discs of the spine are cushions that separate each set of bones in the back. Each disc is composed of a strong outer covering called the annulus, as well as a soft jelly center called the nucleus.
When a person has a bulging disc, the outer covering tears for one reason or another (which we’ll discuss in just a moment), and the jelly begins to shift away from the center of the disc toward the weaker part of the disc. This results in a “bulge” in the wall of the disc, which is why the condition is referred to as a bulging disc.
The cause of this can vary, but most often this condition is caused by an injury (such as a car accident, a fall, or lifting something heavy). It may also be caused by a genetic weakness in the wall of the disc, as well as toxins building up in the body. Toxins, believe it or not, will weaken the walls of the spinal discs, predisposing you to developing bulging discs.
These toxins typically build up in the system because of poor dietary choices, not drinking enough water, smoking, drinking excessive alcohol, etc. All of these things make a big difference in the health of your spinal discs.
One thing you may find interesting about the discs of the spine is that they are designed to not feel pain sensations. Now, this may sound odd at first, because this condition can cause quite a bit of pain. However, if you think about it, it makes sense – the main job of the spinal discs is to absorb shock, and if you were able to feel this, you would be in pain all day!
So, if this is the case, why is this condition so painful? Well, the spinal nerves are located directly behind the discs of the spine, so if you develop bulging discs, the bulge will typically apply pressure to these nerves, which can be very painful.
Not only that, disability is often associated with bulging discs as well, simply because the nerves of the spine control everything in the body. If there is pressure applied to these nerves, they will stop working properly, and other problems will develop.
For example, bulging discs in the cervical spine (neck) will not only cause neck pain, but you may also experience headaches, shoulder, arm and hand pain, numbness or weakness, chest pain, thyroid problems (which could lead to weight problems), as well as ringing in the ears and blurred vision.
You may not have thought that these symptoms could come from a problem in the neck, but this is very common because these parts of the body are controlled by the nerves in the neck.
In the thoracic area (middle back, between the shoulder blades), bulging discs can lead to middle back pain, pain radiating around the rib cage, chest pain, heart palpitations (feeling like your heart is beating very strongly and quickly in your chest), difficulty breathing, and headaches.
And finally, bulging discs in the lumbar region of the spine (the low back) can lead to low back pain, pain traveling down the leg (this may also be experienced as a burning sensation or numbness), pain in the feet, bowel and bladder problems (constipation, diarrhea, problems controlling your bladder), as well as sexual organ dysfunction.
So, the question is, how do you deal with this condition? Unfortunately, the traditional treatment methods available are usually not very effective for this problem.
Most doctors will recommend medications (such as pain relievers and muscle relaxers), pain injections (such as cortisone or epidurals), physical therapy, and surgery (usually as a last resort, because the success rate of surgery for the spine is very low).
The reason these treatments are not very effective is because they are all designed for one thing – their goal is to numb the aggravated nerve and reduce the inflammation in the area (which is also primarily affecting the nerve).
While this goal sounds good since the source of the pain is the aggravated nerve, any relief you experience from these treatments is usually temporary because they do not heal the cause of the problem, which is the injured disc.
The problem with bulging discs is that the spinal discs do not receive very good blood flow. Blood is responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients to injured tissues for faster healing, and because the discs do not receive this blood supply, they tend to be very problematic when it comes to healing.
What are your options, then? There are alternative methods that are usually more effective for getting to the source of the problem, and actually encouraging the disc to heal which leads to longer-term relief.
For example, chiropractic is usually very helpful, as well as massage therapy, acupuncture, axial decompression therapy, and cold laser therapy.
However, after working with thousands of patients with this condition over the past 8 years, I can tell you from experience that it usually requires a specific combination of these treatments in order to achieve the best results.
If you would like to learn more about the combination of treatments that are most effective for healing bulging discs, please visit http://www.HealYourBulgingDisc.com.