Herniated or bulging disk develops when the soft disks of the spine get compressed. It may press against the spinal cord and nerve roots, causing discomfort and issues with mobility.
These disks tend to bulge caused by degeneration due to age. The symptoms are more likely to develop slowly. Some call them herniated protruding, ruptured, or herniated disks.
The discs are covered with an outer layer of thickness surrounding an enveloping gel-like middle. A disc that is bulging could be the precursor to a herniated disc or one that has entirely or partially shattered through the outer layer of the disc that is intervertebral. The bulges can place pressure on the nerve roots, causing discomfort that spreads across the back and other parts of the body based on the location of the vertebral column. If the symptoms become severe enough and persistent, surgery to correct bulge discs might be required.
Around 90 percent of bulging disc cases happen at the back of the lower. The most frequent bulging disc site is between the lumbar vertebrae L4/L5 and between the vertebrae L5 and S1. The pressure on nerves created by this bulge may cause stress on the sciatic nerve, which can cause sciatica. It can also cause leg pain, possibly nerve numbness, tingling, and weakness that begins in the lower back. It traverses the buttock area and then down the more significant sciatic nerve that runs through the rear of the leg.
What exactly is a bulging disk?
A bulging disk develops because the spongy discs between the spine’s vertebrae are stretched and expand.
A collection of interlocking bones known as vertebrae comprise the spine. The vertebrae support the spine, allowing the back to move and bend.
Between each vertebra lies a soft tissue, also known as the spinal disk. The disks facilitate movement between vertebrae and stop bones from pressing against one another. They also function as shock absorbers to avoid injuries during movement.
Each disk has a solid outer layer with an inner layer of gel. This gel can lose its flexibility and turn rigid as we age.
What is the bulking Disc L4/L5?
As time passes, the spine’s discs are susceptible to regular wear and tear due to repetitive motions in our daily lives. This is a common occurrence for everyone.
If, however, one area of the disc is weaker than the others and is causing the condition known as a disc bulge.
This is when the fibrous outer fibers of the disc are split, and the interior part of the disc “bulges” outwards towards the nerve roots located at the back of the spine.
The disc bulge is visible in the MIDDLE image in the picture below. (The final image is a disc herniation. It’s a more extreme version of a bulge in the disc).
Due to the proximity that discs are to nerves mentioned in the past, disc bulges can be a direct contact point for some spinal nerves, creating various symptoms in their course.
When the disc bulge is in contact with the sciatic nerve, symptoms that follow are referred to as “sciatica.”
Because the L4/L5 disk is exceptionally close to the sciatic nerve, disc bulges at this point often contact the nerve and trigger sciatica.
When is the best time to call a doctor?
Practicing correct posture, exercising regularly, and consuming the proper diet, can help back pain without needing medical assistance.
However, one should seek out a medical professional when they experience back pain that gets worse in time or is associated with other signs, such as bladder or bowel control problems.
If you are experiencing severe back pain due to physical or emotional stress might also require the help of an expert doctor.