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Home » Spine Conditions » Bulging Disc » Is a Bulging Disc Serious?

Severity of a bulging disc

A bulging disc is a condition that occurs when the gel-like center of a disc weakens, causing it to push against the tough outer layer of the disc and bulge out of its normal boundary. This condition can become serious when it pinches the nerve root or spinal cord, resulting in radiculopathy (the symptoms of nerve compression). When the bulging disc presses against a nerve root or spinal cord, it interferes with motor and sensory signals between the brain and the body, resulting in the debilitating symptoms described in the following article.

Symptoms of a bulging disc

If you believe that you are suffering from a bulging disc, you should be on the lookout for the following signs:

  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Cramping
  • Spasms
  • Sciatica

It is important to consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms in order to get a proper diagnosis and avoid worsening your condition. If your condition progresses and your bulging disc becomes more severe, bowel or bladder dysfunction and paralysis may occur, which requires immediate medical attention.

Treatments for a bulging disc

Depending on how serious your bulging disc is, your doctor may either recommend conservative treatments or immediate surgical intervention. Typically, it is advised to first see if your condition responds to a course of nonsurgical treatments such as pain medication, weight management, stretching techniques, epidural steroid injections, chiropractic care and physical therapy.

However, if you are not experiencing adequate relief after several weeks or months of treatment, surgery may become necessary. At USA Spine Care, our board-certified+ surgeons use a less than 1-inch incision to remove a portion of the bulging disc compressing the nerve root or spinal cord. To learn about our muscle-sparing techniques and state-of-the-art surgery centers, contact us today.

As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, USA Spine Care has performed more than 75,000 patient procedures. Our team is committed to providing the highest level of care and a streamlined experience to allow all our patients to recapture their quality of life from their chronic spine conditions. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient bulging disc surgery, reach out to our team today and ask for a free MRI review.*

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