Bulging Disc Specialist

Carolinas Center for Advanced Management of Pain

Board Certified Anesthesiologists and Pain Management Specialists located in Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg, and West Columbia, SC and Asheville and Gastonia, NC

When you ignore the symptoms of a bulging disc, like pain or tingling in the neck, shoulder, or arms, you risk further damage if it ruptures. The skilled doctors at the Carolinas Center for Advanced Management of Pain offer a wide range of treatment options for spinal problems like bulging and herniated discs. With six locations in North and South Carolina to choose from, it’s easy to find convenient and effective treatment for bulging discs. Call or book an appointment online to learn more.

Bulging Disc Q & A

What is a bulging disc?

Cushiony shock absorbers called discs separate the vertebrae in your spine and aid in your flexibility and movement. These rubbery discs have a tough exterior that surrounds a gel-like center. When the outside of your disc swells or bulges through an opening in your spine, it can cause pressure on surrounding nerves. Bulging discs usually occur in the lower spine.

What causes a bulging disc?

You can develop a bulging disc for several reasons, including:

  • Bad posture
  • Improper lifting
  • Trauma or injury
  • Excess weight or obesity
  • High-impact sports
  • A family history of bulging discs
  • Sedentary lifestyle or inactivity
  • Disc degeneration, or “wear-and-tear”

In some cases, occupations that require a lot of lifting, bending, standing, or extended periods of driving can increase your risk of bulging discs. If left untreated, the exterior of your disc can tear, and the soft center can leak out. This condition is called a bulging or herniated disc.

What are the symptoms of a bulging disc?

A bulging disc doesn’t always cause symptoms. When a herniated disc puts pressure on surrounding nerves, severe discomfort and chronic pain can develop. Additional symptoms include:

  • Numbness, pain, or tingling in the neck, shoulders, arms, fingers, or hands
  • Sciatica symptoms like radiating pain through the buttocks, legs, and feet
  • Radiating pain from the upper back to the stomach or chest
  • Difficulty walking or heaviness in the legs
  • Muscle spasms or lower back pain
  • Loss of dexterity in the fingers

If you have a bulging disc, movements such as coughing or sneezing can intensify your pain.

How is a bulging disc diagnosed?

To avoid developing a herniated disc, it’s essential to discuss your symptoms with an experienced doctor. The board-certified physicians at the Carolinas Center for Advanced Management of Pain are area leaders in pain management and managing spinal disorders.

During your appointment, your doctor conducts a full medical, musculoskeletal evaluation, or surgical examination. Based on your symptoms, they might order on-site tests like X-rays, MRIs, neuropsychological exams, or electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies.

How is a bulging disc treated?

Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor might recommend several types of treatment, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Cold and heat therapy
  • Physical therapy

The Carolinas Center for Advanced Management of Pain also offers in-office, X-ray-guided diagnostic and therapeutic injections.

To find out how the Carolinas Center for Advanced Management of Pain can treat your bulging disc, call or book an appointment online.