The condition of bulging disc in neck gives a hard time to the patient as he completely loses his ability to turn his neck. The vertebrae of the spine are cushioned by soft and gelatinous material called discs. These discs serve as shock absorbers for the spine. The spine can bend and move due to the flexibility of the disc and its gel-like center.
In medical science, disc disorders are of two types. They are contained and non-contained. Bulging disc is a type of contained disc disorder. The disc bulges outside the space it should occupy under normal circumstances. Most of the time, the tough outer layer of cartilage is what that bulges out. The pain caused depends on the degree of the bulge and the direction in which it protrudes. This condition is mostly a result of the aging process, but may also be caused by serious trauma.
# As mentioned earlier, aging is the most common cause of the condition. With time, the discs tend to lose their water content thus, causing them to become stiffer, and provide less cushion. Such weakness in the disc causes its outer part to bulge out, looking like a hamburger. And this bulged disc presses on the nerves thus, causing pain and irritation.
# Besides aging, there could be some other causes which may lead to this medical condition of the neck. These may include:
- Serious trauma caused by car crash and the like
- Being involved in activities which demand a lot of lifting, standing, and bending for a long time
- Prolonged involvement in sports
- Disc problems running in the family
The condition is marked by a mild pain in a portion of the neck. Sudden movements of the neck and even improper sleeping posture may contribute to the pain getting sharper and more intense. Due to this disorder, the patient might experience tingling sensation in the chest, arms or hands. In some cases, this sensation is also felt in the legs.
In due time and if the bulging does not receive early treatment, symptoms begin to show up in the muscles of the arms, hands and legs. The patient may feel a degree of weakness in his muscles all the time. Headaches, ringing in the ears, pins or needles sensation, and blurred vision are some common symptoms of this condition. Thyroid problems, chest pain and sometimes heart palpitations may also occur due to the bulging neck disc.
The treatment usually depends on the severity of the case, and how intense the pain is. The person's overall health is also considered in the type of treatment. A bulging neck disc requires extra attention and special medical care. In some cases, bulging discs have healed by themselves, and without any conventional treatment.
Before going for high degree treatment options, doctors usually prescribe medication to ease the pain and take care of any swelling that may occur. For proper healing and relief, certain kinds of physiotherapy are also recommended under professional supervision. Chiropractors are also consulted for assistance in pain relief.
The patient has to take care that sudden neck movements are avoided as far as possible, and complete bed rest is a must. In some cases, even therapies, conventional approaches and non-surgical treatments fail to yield any positive results. Surgery is associated with possible risks like infection, bleeding, hoarseness, and paralysis. In extreme cases, death may also be an outcome. That is why surgery is taken up as the last resort.
If you are suffering from this condition of bulging discs in your neck, then it is wise to seek medical care at the earliest. Refrain from any kind of movement that causes pain and discomfort to the spine or the neck. After consulting your doctor, try to take up some exercises which may help in recovery. As mentioned above, complete bed rest is an essential part of the healing process. However, if you take up any kind of work, then follow proper lifting techniques and avoid heavy loads. Never hesitate to consult your doctor, and fix regular appointments.