Bulging Disc

Bulging Disc Treatment

Performed by the award winning doctors in Raleigh, North Carolina

An intervertebral disc is a ring of biological matter separating one bone of the spine (i.e. a vertebra) from another. It is made up of two layers; a soft, pulpy inner layer closer to the spinal cord, surrounded by a tougher, fibrous outer ring. This layer is made of a strong, resilient material to carry out its functions. An intervertebral disc gives support to the bones above and below it, contributes to shock absorption in the spine, and helps to ensure that the proper shape and structure of the back is maintained. It is possible, however, for the outer ring of these discs to wear out or break. When this occurs, the inner, pulpy layer pushes outward and protrudes into the spaces between the normal location of the disc and the bone around it. This is known as a bulging disc.

At Wake Spine & Pain Specialists our goal is to relieve your pain and improve function to increase your quality of life.
Treatments for Bulging Discs are generally non-to minimally invasive and are conservative in nature.
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Give us a call today at (919) 787-7246.

Causes of Bulging Disc

Bulging discs can occur for no apparent reason at all. More common causes that are known are wear and tear, usually associated with age. It is also understood that bulging disc syndrome can be the result of improper bending, or repeated incorrect spinal movements, such as simply sitting improperly in a chair. Normal spinal movements cause almost no pressure to the spine, partially because of the presence of discs. However, sharp, stressful, or unusually laborious movements, such as bending with the back to lift something, heavy lifting, or even sitting down result in significant increases in pressure in the relevant regions in the spine. This can result in the tearing of the outer ring of a disc. The inner disc then bulges or protrudes outward into the vertebral spaces, where it may physically compress or irritate a spinal nerve, and thus cause pain. This pain is a result of the inner disc’s proximity to the nerve, as well as inflammation of the nerve caused by molecules released by the inner ring’s tissue when it bulges outward.

Treatment for Bulging Disc

Bulging Disc ExplainedThere are a number of treatments for bulging disc syndrome. Epidural injections are injections of anesthetic medications into the spaces of the spine where nerves are located. They can be an effective treatment for pain caused by disc protrusion. These are injected into the vertebrae affected by bulging disc, i.e. cervical, lumbar, or sacral. These injections can also include steroids to relieve the inflammation that can be caused by bulging discs.

If epidural injections do not effectively treat the pain, more direct measures may be advised. These include disc denervation, a technique in which pain signals are reduced by selectively disrupting the affected nerve. This is done by numbing the area around the disc, and then inserting a probe into the region of the nerve, which then delivers radio frequency waves that will reduce the signaling from the nerve.