Anushka Sharma is currently promoting her new film Sui Dhaga and the hectic schedules seem to have taken a toll on her health. Recent reports suggest that the actress is suffering from a bulging disc and doctors have advised her rest. Bulging disc is commonly seen in athletes, but it can also happen due to hectic lifestyle and ageing. In this article, we will write about the causes, symptoms and treatment for bulging disc.
A bulging disc is a common ailment that occurs when weakened discs of cartilage between the vertebrae of the spine bulge outward and into the spinal cord. This causes pain, tingling, weakness and numbness in the back, neck and other parts of the body.
What Causes A Bulging Disc?
The common cause of a bulging disc is ageing, and as you age, the spinal disc which acts like shock absorbers, lose water content, making them stiffer, and more prone to damage, thereby losing its natural elasticity.
Any kind of minor trauma increases the pressure of the disc’s central core, stretching the outer layer which may not return to its shape later on. When this continues over an extended period of time, it results in bulging disc. And if the disc ruptures and allows the inner jellylike core of the bulging disc to seep out, is called a herniated disc.
Bulging discs can happen in your 20s, but it’s most common in 30s and 40s.
Other Causes Of Bulging Disc
Apart from ageing, there are other causes that contribute to a bulging disc.
1. A car accident injury, lifting weights, falling down or putting undue stress in the neck and back.
2. If you have a family history of spinal problems, you have a higher chance of developing a bulging disc.
3. Sitting or standing with poor posture can create muscle imbalances and increase the risk of a bulging disc.
4. Wrong lifestyle choices like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption elevate your risk of developing a bulging disc.
5. Other factors like poor diet, lack of exercise and weight gain also contribute to bulging disc.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Bulging Disc?
The bulging disc can occur in any part of the spine, but it commonly occurs in the lower, or lumbar area, of the spine. In most cases, the bulging disc is seen between the lumbar vertebrae L4-L5, and between vertebrae L5-S1, causing pain in the L5 nerve or S1 spinal nerve, respectively. Although not very common, a bulging disc can occur on the upper part of the spine too.
The upper part of the spine causes symptoms in the upper body which includes the neck, arms, hands and shoulders. And the lower part of the spine causes symptoms in the lower body which includes the hips, legs, feet and buttocks. The symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, muscle spasms or cramping.
Common Risk Factors For A Bulging Disc
A bulging disc mostly occurs in the lower region of the spine because it is responsible for the body’s weight and movement. There is constant pressure which makes the discs susceptible to damage.
Other risk factors like osteoarthritis, excessive back and neck strain, height, weight gain, dehydration also come in.
Prevention And Treatment For Bulging Disc
Incorporating certain lifestyle changes like exercises to keep your back flexible, managing your weight, and quitting smoking and drinking can prevent bulging disc.
Doctors will advise you an initial course of treatment options including rest, light exercise, medication, hot and cold compresses, and physical therapy. The non-surgical treatment also includes cortisone injections, ultrasound therapy, implantable opioid infusion pumps, topical pain patches, exercises involving stretching.
But, if the symptoms persist in spite of the light treatment, you may be asked to consider a spine surgery. Nowadays, there are also many minimally invasive procedures, unlike the traditional open back surgery. Talk to your physician broadly about the types of surgery for your specific condition and get a second opinion from other specialists as well.
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