As you probably would expect, a bulging disc in your neck can cause neck pain. Over time, age-related degenerative changes can take place gradually throughout your spine — especially in your neck, which is a high-stress region. This may cause one or more of your spinal discs to bulge out of alignment with the surrounding vertebrae, which can lead to pain and stiffness around the site of the injury.
Additionally, if a bulging disc invades your spinal canal and presses on your spinal cord or a nearby nerve root, you may have discomfort in other, seemingly unrelated areas of your body. That’s because a compressed nerve can produce symptoms at any point along its pathway, which may extend all the way down one of your arms or legs.
What happens if a cervical bulging disc causes nerve compression?
If a bulging disc pressures a nerve in the cervical region of your spine, you may experience:
- Chronic neck pain and stiffness
- Pain when you bend or twist your neck
- Deep pain in a shoulder blade
- Pain, numbness or tingling sensations that radiate from your neck through a shoulder, arm and hand
- Muscle weakness in an arm
How is a cervical bulging disc treated?
Effective bulging disc treatment will depend on an accurate diagnosis and the nature of the resulting symptoms. Many people are able to manage their discomfort with conservative therapies, such as exercise and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). With time — generally several weeks or months — your symptoms may resolve on their own.
On the other hand, if your bulging disc symptoms seem to be getting worse instead of better, you may be interested in exploring your surgical treatment options. At USA Spine Care, we offer minimally invasive spine surgery as an alternative to traditional open spine surgery for bulging discs and other spinal conditions. By accessing the spine with tiny surgical instruments that are inserted through a less-than-1-inch incision, our surgeons are able to minimize disruption to surrounding tissues and muscles. As a result, our patients are able to avoid the lengthy recovery period that often follows traditional open spine surgery.
If you’re interested in learning more, contact USA Spine Care to request a free MRI review.* We can help you determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive surgery.