Disc protrusion occurs when a spinal disc deteriorates and begins jutting out into the area surrounding the spine, often as a result of the normal aging process. Although the terms “protruding disc” and “bulging disc” are sometimes used interchangeably, a disc is considered to be “protruding” when the swelling portion involves 180 degrees or less of the disc circumference, while a disc is considered to be “bulging” when the swelling portion involves more than 180 degrees of its circumference.
In many cases, someone might be living with a disc protrusion and not even know it because the disc is not exerting any pressure on the surrounding nerves. When a protruding disc begins to irritate a nearby nerve, however, it can cause pain, tingling, numbness, stiffness and muscle weakness. These symptoms may be localized or they may radiate into other areas of the body, depending on where the protruding disc is located in the spine. If a disc is protruding in the cervical (upper) region of the spine, for example, someone may experience pain in the neck, shoulders, arms and hands. Conversely, if a disc is protruding in the lumbar (lower) portion of the spine, pain may be experienced in the lower back, hips, legs and feet.
If you’re living with a protruding disc, here are six tips for how you might be able to achieve disc protrusion pain relief from the comfort of your own home:
- Use pain-relieving or anti-inflammatory medications, as directed by your physician
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods such as healthy fats and fresh fruits and vegetables
- Maintain proper posture
- Perform stretching exercises, as directed by a physical therapist
- Use heat/cold therapy on painful areas
- Take regular breaks, during which you can lie on your back with pillows supporting your knees
If you haven’t been able to find relief from your protruding disc symptoms using conservative treatment methods, you may want to have a conversation with your physician about whether you need surgery, as well as about the benefits of minimally invasive procedures versus traditional procedures. USA Spine Care’s minimally invasive outpatient surgeries are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back procedures.^ Please contact us to learn more. We can also tell you about how to set up a free MRI review,* which we can use to determine whether you might be a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures.
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