Bulging discs/ herniated disc/ pinched nerve in the back, the names are usually used interchangeably but all mean the same thing which is basically spinal disorder that is associated with pain. The back bone is a continuous bony structure made of smaller bones called vertebral discs that are interconnected together, on the upper part, it is connected to the bones of the skill and lower part is connected to the pelvic bone.
A herniated disc is one that is dislocated from its original position through separation of the outer part (capsule) separates from the inner part called the nucleus which then presses on the nerves of the spinal cord eliciting pain, numbness and muscle spasms.Dics herniation is caused majorly by degeneration or traumatic events
Causes of Bulging Discs or Pinched Nerve in Back
Degenerative disc disease
This is a condition if you become diagnosed with, chances are that you may start to fret thinking that is a very deadly disease as many patients have done in the past, unlike the name suggests it’s not a slowly progressing disease that becomes fatal with each passing day but simply means that the disc which is a bone is slowly loosing most of its water as you age, the disc starts to lose its flexibility thus and becomes easily injured.
The process starts around the age of 35 years and slowly progresses with advancement in age. This is actually an arthritic problem of the vertebral column and causes flattening of the disc which presses on the nerves causing pain in the back, the hips and lower legs, there is numbness and tingling sensation of the feet, bowel and bladder issues as well and a sharp hip pain called sciatica can also be felt
Bulging lumbar disc
The vertebral column is divided into parts which have different names, from top is the cervical coloumn,thoracic,lumbar,sacral and coccyx which is almost rudimentary, the lumbar region is the part where most impact is felt when you bend, carry heavy objects, twist or turn the back and therefore the discs in that area are prone to injury, the impact of trauma causes the disc which is made up of a capsule and a nucleus to separate, this separation causes the nucleus to press on nerves of the spine and when nerves are pinched, pain
Is the first effect, since nerves affect the functioning of other organs, the pressing also affect how these organs function like the legs,bowel,bladder and reproductive organs. This condition is worsened by activities unlike in the degenerative disc disease where the pain is constant throughout the time
Repetitive strain injury
If you are used to routine activities that put a lot of strain on your back like a line man in a supermarket, a nurse performing their nursing activities all by themselves where you have to bend and twist your back, you are likely to get minute trauma on the discs which slowly build up and with time causes disc herniation or a tear due to the accumulated impact, this bulging causes nerves in the surrounding to be pressed and cause a lot of pain
Other Causes of Bulging Discs or Pinched Nerve in Back
Certain injuries like a major fall or an automobile accident can have an impact on the discs causing them to immediately bulge and the nucleus is more likely to press on the spinal nerves
It is usually difficult to distinguish the two the two conditions as they have similar symptoms but getting a doctor’s appointment and doing imaging studies helps to differentiate them as the bulging disc is shown with a protrusion
Management is almost the same, pain killers with physiotherapy are the mainstay course of treatment and in degenerative disease, anti-inflammatories are also prescribed
Treatment and Prevention of Bulging Discs or Pinched Nerve in Back
There are other preventable causes that cause discs to bulge out, take the case of an overbearing body weight, the impact is felt on the back and this can cause some discs to bulge out, especially if the weigh is more concentrated around the abdomen, poor posture while sited or standing puts a lot of pressure on the back, increasing the chances of disc degeneration.
Carrying of heavy objects on your back as is seen with a lot of women especially in the developing countries who have to carry water for long distances also put their discs at risk of bulging easily. These behaviors can be modified quite easily, keeping the right amount of weight through exercises, jogging and eating a well-balanced diet helps to avoid the excess of weight. Keep a good posture while both standing and sitting and avoid carrying very heavy weights if you can
Back pain can be quite a nuisance and unlike the other parts of the body it is hard to reach out to the back to try and soothe the pain and many times this pain perseveres for longer than normaI,i doubt you have never had a back pain experience and sure didn’t feel so good, so if you can avoid it the better.
Though you may wonder how this is possible, it can be done, just carry out your activities of daily living with moderation do not strain to achieve something at the expense of your back at times it’s not worthy, take time to rest, play a little when you can, do not allow stress to take a toll on your life which can be one of the causes of back pain.
Eat well and always try to be happy despite the challenges of life, you will actually start to notice that the pain gradually becomes less every day and you can enjoy everyday life