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Why is a protruding disc painful?

In order to understand why a protruding disc is painful, it is helpful to know exactly what a protruding disc is and how it starts. Our spinal vertebrae are cushioned by pliable, oval-shaped discs made up of collagen and water, and their job is to act as shock absorbers for the neck and back. Over time, however, these discs begin to dehydrate and weaken, causing their soft inner core to push into the spinal column and create a bulge, or even rip through their outer shell completely.

While a protruding disc is not painful in and of itself, it can become painful if it begins to compress one of the dozens of nerve roots in the spinal cord. It is this nerve compression that causes the most severe disc protrusion symptoms, which include:

  • Pain, numbness and tingling in the extremities
  • Localized, chronic neck or back pain
  • Stiffness or soreness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of flexibility or mobility
  • Sciatica

If you are suffering from symptoms associated with a protruding disc, you can speak with your doctor about beginning a regimen of conservative treatments, such as medication management, physical therapy, hot and/or cold therapy, chiropractic manipulation and steroid injections, just to name a few. If conservative treatments do not work, you may consider turning to USA Spine Care. Our board-certified surgeons+ have performed more than 100,000 minimally invasive surgeries that are completed on an outpatient basis.

Contact USA Spine Care today to learn more about the treatment options we offer for patients with a protruding disc. We can help you receive a free MRI review* to determine whether you are a candidate for the minimally invasive spine surgeries we offer.

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