Why Your Spinal Disc is Bulging

Bulging spinal discs

Bulging spinal discs are one thing we see every day here at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders. We have 23 vertebral discs: 6 in the cervical spine, 12 in the thoracic/middle back, and 5 in the lower/lumbar spine. In most cases, the lumbar discs are the troublemakers.

Bulging discs are common. It’s estimated that as many as 80 percent of people over 55 have at least one bulging disc somewhere in their spine. These are often painless and the person has no idea there is any problem. But these bulging discs can also point to problems, either with things you are doing, such as lifting too much weight, or other issues. It’s important to head off the cause of the bulging disc before the pressure continues and eventually causes the disc to herniate and begin pressing on nearby nerves.

Here are the reasons behind your bulging discs.

Causes of bulging discs

  • General wear and tear — Our spine bears a lot of weight every day, and it never gets a day off. When you pair this pressure with our vertebrae becoming slightly less dense as we age, this can place extra pressure on the discs, squishing them and making them bulge past the width of the vertebrae.
  • Degenerative disc disease — Another facet of aging, our discs lose their water content and become structurally less sound. This makes the discs more prone to bulging and herniating.
  • Injury or trauma — Bulging discs don’t happen instantly; they usually develop over time. Disc herniation can happen instantly with trauma. Still, trauma or injury can create conditions that force discs to bulge.
  • Bad posture — Your mom was right about your posture. Stand up tall and sit up straight. Bad posture when sitting, standing, or sleeping can force a disc to bulge.
  • Occupational hazards — If your job requires lots of lifting, bending, standing, or driving, odds are you have at least one bulging disc due to the pressure.

Where do they develop?

Most bulging discs are in the lower back, the lumbar spine. These are the discs between vertebrae L1-L5. This is because the majority of the body’s weight is carried on this part of the spine.

If you have signs of bulging discs, things such as sciatica, call the team at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, (817) 916-4685. We have various treatment options to ease the pain.

Posted in: Bulging Disc Treatment

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