A bulging disc is different from a herniated disc. In a herniated disc, a crack shows up on the annulus, the outer layer of the disc, and it is prone to rupturing. A bulging disc is a protrusion outside the space it occupies between your vertebrae. Another key difference between the two: pain.
With a herniated disc, you are likely to feel pain. A bulging disc might not make you feel pain at all. You may even feel right as rain that you basically go about your business, without seeking medical treatment.
But still there are cases wherein pain occurs from bulging discs, and the intensity will worsen as you go through your activities. As such, you will require the training and expertise of a bulging disc doctor NY residents should consider a spine specialist when the following symptoms are experienced:
These symptoms indicate that the bulging disc in your thoracic spine is pressing on your spinal cord:
- Changes in bladder or bowel function.
- Muscle weakness, tingling, or numbness in one or both legs.
- Increased reflexes in one or both legs, causing spasms.
- Paralysis from the waist down.
For bulging disc in your cervical spine, the following may occur:
- Deep pain near or over your shoulder.
- Pain when you move your neck.
- Pain radiating in your upper arm, forearm, and some fingers.
These symptoms are then evaluated further through a series of appropriate diagnostic tests. These tests include X-ray, MRI, CT scan, which determine if the bulging disc is pushing against your spinal cord.
Now some symptoms for some people may resolve themselves eventually, in a few weeks’ time or months. But when the numbness, the pain, increases over time and consistently, you should go see a bulging disc doctor.
Never endure symptoms that will take you away from work for longer than expected. And never endure symptoms that prevent you from doing what you normally do.
Because once you see a specialist, you can get relief from the pain and prevent your condition from becoming worse. Most bulging discs do not need surgical treatment. Depending on your symptoms, you can recover with physical therapy, chiropractic, and other non-invasive treatments.
But whatever symptoms you have, it is always best to get looked at by a trained and licensed specialist. A wait-and-see option may work and cost less. Ultimately though, only a bulging disc doctor can determine the reason for your condition and provide the best course of action.