BULGING DISC

Introduction
Your spine is made up of small sections called vertebrae that link together like a chain. This unique structure helps you move and bend, but it also makes you very susceptible to injury. To keep you safe, your body has developed small, bendable discs that sit between each vertebra. Known as intervertebral discs they absorb shock and prevent injury, but they sometimes slip out of place or bulge out. When this happens, the result is chronic and severe back and neck pain.

The discs are made of two kinds of material. They have a flexible outer shell called the annulus fibrosus and a jelly-like fluid inside called the nucleus pulposus. When the annulus fibrosus gets damaged, the nucleus pulposus can leak out. This leakage places significant stress on your spine because without the nucleus pulposus there is less cushioning.

What Causes Bulging Disc?
As we get older, our discs start to lose their elasticity. When we’re young, we may not even notice we have a bulging disc as our body can heal and the spine will recover quickly. Age is the primary cause of bulging disc; the discs lose some of the jelly inside and become more stiff or flat.

Other causes of bulging disc can be working in intensive manual labor such as careers that take place outdoors or involve a lot of heavy machinery. Another common cause is improper lifting, or when a person lifts a weighted object on their back as opposed to their legs.

Contact sports or a car accident may also significantly affect the spine and damage a disc. Lifestyle habits such as excessive smoking or drinking can also make the discs less springy and cause them to lose fluid.

The Symptoms of Bulging Disc
This condition is asymptomatic except for when a nerve is involved. The sciatic nerve can be pushed on when a disc bulges and cause shooting pains down to the buttocks or even as far down as the feet. This problem is commonly referred to as sciatica and can be crippling to the person affected.

Treatment of Bulging Disc
Bed rest and time are essential to allowing the ruptured disc to heal. A visit to your chiropractor is also an excellent idea. Your chiropractor can manipulate your spine to help the discs heal and rebuild.

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