Back pain is a big deal. It’s a problem that affects millions of Americans to the point of diminished productivity and quality of life. If you’re living with chronic neck or back pain, it is necessary to speak with a spinal specialist. A visit to Innovative Spine Care in Tampa can help you understand the cause of your discomfort and, most importantly, how it can be relieved.
What is a bulging disc?
The term “bulging disc” is another way to describe a herniated disc. Between every set of vertebrae, or bones, in the spine, there is a cushion (the disc). There are layers to a spinal disc, with the center being mostly fluid and the outer rim somewhat thick and rigid. The discs are just flexible enough to buffer the force that transfers down the spinal column when we walk, run, or perform any physical movement. A bulging disc is characterized by a loss of structure within the soft center and brittleness at the outer rim. Sometimes, the disc exerts pressure on the nerves that pass through the spinal column. When this happens, painful symptoms develop.
The prominent symptom of a bulging cervical disc is pain and stiffness in the neck. Sometimes, the pain will radiate down the arm or just to the shoulder or shoulder blade. Severe compression on the nerve may send pain all the way down into the hand and fingers. The pain sensation may be sharp and shooting, or it may feel more like burning.
Is Neck Pain the Only Symptom of a Bulging Cervical Disc?
Most people who develop a bulging disc in the neck complain of localized pain and decreased ability to move their neck. This is not the only indication of a compressed nerve in the neck, though. Additional signs that a disc could be bulging include:
- Chronic headaches. The spinal nerves in the neck share a brain nucleus with the main nerve in the face. When cervical nerves are compressed, this nucleus may register pain away from the source. This may be referred to as a cervicogenic headache and may include head pain as well as light and noise sensitivity and nausea.
- Muscle weakness. The nerves that travel through the cervical spine and down the arms produce feeling as well as strength. Pinched nerves may lead to a sensation of weakness in the fingers, a loose grip, and diminished muscle strength in the hands, biceps and triceps, and even the deltoids.
- Changes to sensation. It is not uncommon for feelings such as tingling and numbness to occur either intermittently or continuously along a nerve path that is compressed.
Innovative Spine Care has a proven solution for bulging cervical disc pain. Learn more about our minimally-invasive technique at (813) 920-3022.