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Is a Bulging Disc Causing Your Back Pain?

By Sara Butler

Back and neck pain are quite common. In fact, the American Chiropractic Association says that in your life, you have an 80 percent chance of experiencing back pain. Those aren't great statistics for a pain-free existence. While there are many causes of back pain, there is one that is concerning to chiropractors: back pain caused by bulging discs. Here's what the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic want you to know about bulging discs and how they can help you treat this condition.

What a Spinal Disc Does

Your spinal discs sit between the bones of your spine. Their biggest jobs are to provide a cushion to the bones and absorb shock while also allowing your spine to move in many different directions. The spinal discs are made up of two parts:

  • The outer, fibrous layer - This outer shell is tough but flexible.
  • The inner nucleus - This inner portion is comprised of a jelly-like protein.

These two distinct layers work together to move as your spine moves.

A Bulging Disc

As you age, your chances of developing a bulging disc increase. That's because, over your life, a lot of stress and strain is placed upon the spinal discs. When a part of the outer layer of the disc becomes damaged or weakens, then it can allow the inner layer to bulge out, moving beyond the space it normally inhabits inside the disc.

What differentiates a bulging disc from a herniated disc is that the outer layer is still intact, holding in the jelly-like substance in the inside. If the inside of the discs escapes the outer layer, then that's called a herniated disc.

The Causes

Bulging discs are caused by wear and tear, but they can also be caused by:

  • Repetitive trauma - This includes poor posture, repetitive movements, and poor ergonomics, often associated with obesity, poor core muscle strength, and smoking.
  • Injuries - Heavy or jarring contact, such as a car accident or being tackled, or lifting something heavy in an awkward position, can cause damage to the discs, causing a bulge.
  • Spinal degeneration - Some spinal degeneration is normal with age, but poor posture and spinal function will make this process faster, leading to conditions such as a bulging disc.

What to Do

If you suspect your back pain is due to a bulging disc, talk to a chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic. They can perform a full assessment to see what may be the underlying cause of the bulge, then work with you to help bring you relief.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Worth, Tex.

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