Bulging Disc Symptoms

What Are The Symptoms Of A Bulging Disc?

Bulging disc for many people are not symptomatic or if there are minor symptoms, people learn to live and adjust their lifestyle to cope with them. When bulging disc becomes severe and the symptoms become unbearable, the quality of life for those suffering becomes debilitating. The condition can cause significant loss of days at work, interfere with daily activities, sports and general leisure.

Bulging Disc Symptoms By Region Of The Spine

As a disc bulges, it can push out against the spinal cord or one of the spinal nerve roots of the spine that extend from your spinal cord out causing symptoms, depending on the region of the bulging disc, into your shoulders, arms, hands or hips, low back, legs and feet.

The most common areas for bulging disc symptoms occur in the cervical and lumbar region. Thoracic bulging disc are not as common because the rib cage helps in spinal mobility. These symptoms range from pain, numbness, weakness, burning or tingling sensation. Being able to describe these symptoms to your doctor, are very helpful in diagnosing your problem.

Cervical (Neck/Arms/Hands)) Symptoms

A bulging disc or pinched nerve in the neck or cervical spine can produce an array of symptoms in your neck, shoulders, arms, and into your hands and fingers. Depending on where the bulging disc is, the symptoms can affect one side or both sides of your neck, arms and hands. Certain movements of your neck and arms such as rotating your neck or bending your neck backward, forward or sideways can send sharp pain or tingling sensation down one or both arms into the fingers. Some people with bulging nerves can experience spasms and tightness in the neck and shoulders with activity.

Lumbar (Low Back/Legs) Symptoms

A bulging disc in the lower lumbar region, typically compress your spinal nerves. The spinal cord ends around the beginning of the lumbar region and becomes a bundle of nerves called the dura. Bulging disc compressing the exiting nerve can also affect the sciatic nerve, a nerve running from your hip down both sides of your legs.

Once a bulging disc compresses the spinal or exiting nerve, mild, moderate of severe pain, numbness, tingling or weakness symptoms can be felt into the buttocks, thigh, calves, feet or toes depending on what level the bulging disc is and where it is located. Sometimes symptoms can be bilateral affecting both legs but often just one side. Sciatica symptoms are typically one side of your body but can develop in some people who have severe spinal or foraminal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal).

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