First, let’s talk about what is a bulging disc. To put it in the simplest terms possible, a bulging or herniated disc occurs when one of your intervertebral discs, which serves as the cushion between your vertebrae, loses its normal shape which causes it to compress a spinal nerve.
Sound complicated? Let’s explain it.
To properly understand what a bulging disc is, let’s first start by understanding the basic structure of an intervertebral disc.
An intervertebral disc is comprised of two main parts: the annulus fibrosis, or outer shell of fibrous cartilage and the nucleus pulposus, which is the inner filling that’s made up of a jelly-like substance.
There are several reasons why the outer shell of your disc can start to wear down and become brittle. Anything from excessive strain to poor diet and exercise habits can cause your disc to weaken and lose its shape.
Once your disc is worn down, it will start to “bulge” which causes pain, discomfort, and limited mobility and range of motion. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about bulging discs and what your treatment options are should you be faced with this painful injury.
Learn More About Bulging Disc
Regardless of the cause of the injury, if the tough outer shell of your disc is weakened or cracked, the soft jelly inside can deform the disc. Once the disc is deformed, it can irritate or pinch one of your many spinal nerves. A pinched nerve means serious pain and discomfort.
It’s common to hear the terms “bulging disc” and “herniated disc” used interchangeably, however, there’s a subtle difference between the two. Let’s break it down:
- A herniated disc is a condition in which the outer wall of the disc is weakened which then allows the soft inside matter to deform the shape of your disc.
- A bulging disc, on the other hand, is the result of your intervertebral disc losing its shape and compressing a spinal nerve.
See the difference?
A herniated disc has actually broken through the tough outer shell of your disc, while a bulging disc has undergone changes to its shape that lead to pinched nerves, spine pain, and other issues.
If you have low back pain, which 80% of Americans admit to having, there’s a good chance that a bulging disc is a culprit. Your back supports a lot of weight and sees a lot of wear and tear on a daily basis when excess weight and strain are placed on this region, your chances of suffering a bulging disc are high.
Your last option should be discectomy. This is when a portion or the entire disc is surgically removed. The nerves are so sensitive and this procedure is designed to hopefully remove the pressure on the nerve causing the pain.
What Are The Symptoms?
In most cases, a bulging disc will appear at the back and side portions of the disc, which leads to an abnormal pressure on the nerve that sits below the disc. If you’ve ever experienced a pinched nerve, you know that it can cause a wide range of pain and discomfort. In extreme cases, you may even experience a heaviness in your legs that can make it difficult to walk.
The most common symptoms of a bulging disc include:
Depending on where your bulged disc is, you may experience additional symptoms.
For example, if your disc is in your low back, you may feel pain in your butt, legs, and feet. If your disc is in your upper spine, you may experience pain in your neck, arms, hands, and even your head.
How is a Bulging Disc Diagnosed?
The onset of pain is usually the catalyst for seeking medical attention. Your medical provider will then go through a series of procedures to diagnose your condition.
These procedures include:
- Physical Exam: This is where your doctor will assess your pain level in relation to specific motions or touch.
- Symptom Assessment and medical history: This is where you’ll describe the exact pain your feeling and run through your complete medical history to determine if other conditions may be contributing to the pain.
- Diagnostic Imaging: X-rays and MRIs will be conducted to confirm exactly where the pain is coming from.
Traditional Treatment Options Vs. Stem Cells For Bulging Disc
If your doctor determines that your pain is stemming from a bulging disc, you’ll likely be given several treatment options to choose from. Similar to most bodily injuries, your options will likely include pain medications, muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory drugs, cortisone injections, physical therapy, and surgery.
What do all of these traditional treatment options have in common? They don’t cure the cause of your bulging disc, except for surgery. Surgery, though, has a whole slew of potential side effects and complications in and of itself.
So, what do you do when you need relief from the nagging pain of a bulged disc without expensive, painful surgery? You can opt to receive stem cell injections directly at the site of the injury.
Once injected, stem cells get right to work healing and repairing the damaged and deformed disc that’s causing the nerve to be pinched. This is the only safe and all-natural healing method for those suffering from this condition.
Thousands of people have already harnessed the power of stem cells to treat their bulged disc and they’ve seen amazing results with little to no side effects. Stem cell injections are the treatment of the future. Those looking to avoid surgery can rejoice in the fact that there’s a safe, natural way to repair bodily damages and restore full functionality.
Should You Explore Stem Cell Treatment For Bulging Disc Problems?
While stem cell injections are certainly an exciting medical advancement, research into their effectiveness and most effective methods are ongoing. There’s still so much to learn about stem cell treatment!
If you’re interested in learning more about stem cell treatment for your back pain or bulging disc, we offer free consultations at our clinic as well as free information seminars where we’ll take you through the research, implications, and benefits of stem cell therapy so that you can make the most informed decision for your health.