Common Bulging Disc Symptoms That Might Signal Trouble Ahead
The discs in our spine give our back the flexibility it needs to bend, twist, and stretch so that we have the full range of motion we need in our lives. However, when there is something wrong with a disc, it can really throw things out of balance an affect our mobility. Here are some common bulging disc symptoms to pay attention to.
First though, I want to explain what the difference is between a bulging and a herniated disc. When there is an excess amount of pressure placed on our spine or when our spine is out of alignment, it can cause our discs to swell or bulge outward. This is what a bulging disc is.
If the problem is not corrected it can become worse and develop into a herniated disc. This happens when the outer layer of the disc is damaged or split open and the inside layer of the disc begins to spill outward. Not good.
What to Look Out For
The most prominent of the bulging disc symptoms is sciatica. As the disc bulges out ward it can press against nerves in the body. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and happens to be located right in the lower back, where most bulging discs occur.
As the sciatic nerve is compressed, you may experience pain in the lower back, hips, buttocks, or even the legs and feet. Sciatica may also cause numbness or a tingling feeling in these areas like if your leg was asleep.
Another of the bulging disc symptoms to look out for is pain or difficulty moving your legs or back. This is most likely caused by inflamation. It may become difficult to straiten the spine or bend forward without pain.
What Should You Do About Bulging Disc Symptoms?
Understand that the problem in most cases is pressure on the spine. The most common cause of this is muscle imbalances and under-use.
These days many people have jobs that require them to sit at a desk for long periods of time. Unfortunately, this really isn’t healthy for our bodies.
If you spend too much time slumped in front of a computer, your muscles may lose flexibility and contract. This will result in poor posture that can, over time, make a disc bulge or herniate.
People also may have muscle imbalances that result from using their body asymmetrically.
Do you keep your wallet in your back pocket when you’re sitting down? This can cause your hips to shift out of alignment and result in the muscle imbalances that cause bulging discs and sciatica.
Other common habits that people have that can cause problems in the long run is folding one leg over the other while sitting down, carrying heavy backpacks or purses on one shoulder, or lifting heavy objects improperly.
Pay attention to how you hold yourself and you can find small ways to correct your posture to alleviate bulging disc symptoms, sciatica, and pain before the problem gets worse and manifests itself as a herniated disc.