A bulging disc injury is very common injury of spine. It can occur in any part of the spine, and it is very common in a lower back. A minimal, mildly bulging of disc, without rupture of annulus and nucleus movement, is called a bulging disc.
Disc nucleus is a fluid component, placed in the center of the disc. Normally, it moves within the annulus, and adjusts to the pressures placed on spine. However, if annulus are injured, the wall weakens and the nucleus can press the weakened disc wall, causing the bulging of disc.
A bulging disc and herniated disc are different spine injuries. Spinal discs are placed between vertebrae. Herniated disc implies that the disc is damaged. Unlike the bulging disc injury which implies some minimal bulging of the disc without its greater damage, in case of the herniated disc, it may bulge, break open or break into pieces. The herniated disc implies the consequences of penetration (herniation) of the disc nucleus into openings between vertebrae. Because of the herniated disc can press on nerve roots, it can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the area of the body where the nerve travels.
Symptoms of the Bulging Disc in Your Lower Back
The most obvious symptom of the bulging disc is pain. A bulging disc injury can be suspected when pain in your lower back is aggravated by sitting, forward bending, coughing, sneezing or lifting. Therefore, bulging disc symptoms are usually worse when you’re active and get better when you’re resting.
The symptoms of bulging disc in lower back occur when the bulge of disc puts pressure on the nerve roots, and the level of pain depends on how much the disc is pressing on nerve.
A cause of bulging disc can be degenerative disease, weakness in the annulus and sudden increase in pressure through the disc causing fibers of the annulus to tear. Most often it occurs in those who are sitting for a long time, do not move, carry heavy objects, or make sudden movements.
How to Treat
Usually, bulging disc injuries are minor and moderate. In that case proper treatment will be conservatively, without the need for surgery.
– The treatment will depend on body’s ability to heal itself. Those who have a healthy spine in general, will have a greater chance for recovering from a bothersome disc bulge.
– It is very important to consult your physiotherapist about the best positions for your spine, and the postures that should be avoided, because it can be crucial for your recovery. You may want to consider a proper mattress and pillow.
– There are many different treatment tools that physiotherapist can use to reduce your lower back pain and inflammation. These are: ice therapy, electrotherapy, acupuncture, soft tissue massage and many other. Some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can also be recommend by a doctor.
– In addition to healing process, therapist will focus on restoring of full mobility and function of the spine, according to your needs for activities.
– After curing, the most important will be to prevent a recurrence. Low back pain has a tendency to return. Regular exercise is a crucial component for long-term preventing of recurrence. The recommended exercises are: Pilates, yoga, swimming, walking or hydrotherapy.