Also known as a ruptured or slipped disc, this condition involves a weakened, flattened disc that tears and presses against the nerves surrounding it, causing pain, numbness, tingling and weakness throughout the arms or legs, depending on which disc is affected. This condition is most common in patients in their 40s and 50s, as discs degenerate over time and are at a higher risk of rupturing.
Treatment for a bulging disc may involve open back surgery, which requires a lengthy hospital stay and long recovery time. For patients who do not experience debilitating symptoms from this condition, more conservative treatment may be effective.
The disks between the vertebrate and the spine are made up of a tough outer ring and a soft jelly-like substance in the middle. A bulging degenerative disk occurs when the disk becomes worn and the outer regular disk expands beyond its normal radius and presses against the nerve tissue.