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Doctor insights on: Can A Bulging Disc Get Worse

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I have bulging disc that steadily get worse since 2011 and my doc says he sees why I'm in pain but won't do anything. Do I have to be in pain forever?

I have bulging disc that steadily get worse since 2011 and my doc says he sees why I'm in pain but won't do anything. Do I have to be in pain forever?

Bulging disc: I would have your md make a referral for physical therapy and a possible consultation with a pediatric neurosurgeon for evaluation of the disc. ...Read more

Dr. Thomas Dowling
846 Doctors shared insights

Bulging Disk (Definition)

Wear and tear can cause degeneration in the vertebral column, and cause discs to deteriorate. The supportive basket, nucleus fibrosis develops small tears. A bulge is minimal perhaps a few millimeters, and is clinically insignificant, but additional disc displacement such as protrusion or herniation may compress ...Read more


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If I was diagnosed with bulging disc, is it necessary to get imaging done to confirm/deny diagnosis?

If I was diagnosed with bulging disc, is it necessary to get imaging done to confirm/deny diagnosis?

Usually yes: A person with symptoms of nerve compression, who gets diagnosed with "bulging disc" as the likely cause of the nerve symptoms, probably needs an MRI or other imaging to confirm that the symptoms are indeed from a bulging disc and not from some other problem in the spine that is irritating or compressing the nerve. A visit with a neurologist can help decide on the next step. ...Read more

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What suggestions could I get for bulging disc pain in my back if I've already taken dihydrocodeine?

What suggestions could I get for bulging disc pain in my back if I've already taken dihydrocodeine?

Nerve impingement: Can be caused by being sandwiched between two spinal bones, pressed by a bulging disc. It can cause muscle spasm and back pain. This condition must be professionally managed. See interventional pain management specialist for definitive diagnosis and management. ...Read more

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Can decompression possibly shift a bulging disc into a worse position? I tried it for just a min and now I'm having a lot more pain on my left side!

Can decompression possibly shift a bulging disc into a worse position? I tried it for just a min and now I'm having a lot more pain on my left side!

Disc bulge: Bulging disc can cause symptoms. Typically if the bulge is not significant, it tends to improve over time. It also depends on medical history as to which therapy would be recommended. ...Read more

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Would walking cause an annual tear or bulging disc in the low back to be worse or cause pain?

Would walking cause an annual tear or bulging disc in the low back to be worse or cause pain?

Unusual: We often try to discern cause and effect to understand how injuries occur, but standard walking does not cause annular tearing or protrusion of discs. However, once present, the gravity effect of prolonged standing or walking, and the jostling on uneven ground can result in exacerbation of the symptoms. ...Read more

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Is the plank safe for a bulging disc? Sometimes when I do I get little electric shocks in my lower back.

Is the plank safe for a bulging disc? Sometimes when I do I get little electric shocks in my lower back.

Planks: Planks are usually safe for a bulging disc. Anything that strengthens the core should be helpful. However, when you experience pain, that is your body's way of protecting you from doing damage. It is a sign that you should do something different.

A good physical therapist can guide your exercise routine appropriately. ...Read more

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Will bulging disc in c6&c7 cause horrible headaches 24 7. I have mgraines but this 1000 times worse?

Will bulging disc in c6&c7 cause horrible headaches 24 7. I have mgraines but this 1000 times worse?

Possible: Neck issues can cause headaches of different severity however, if these headaches are worse then migraines, I would make sure your physician is aware of the pain. Other medical conditions need to be ruled out and you need to inquire about receiving a CT or/and MRI of the head. I would not blame these headaches on the neck disc unless you already have had an adequate headache work up. Good luck ...Read more

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What is the best supplements that help repairing discs? I was diagnosed with a bulging disc and I feel mckenzie made my back worse and increased ddd

What is the best supplements that help repairing discs? I was diagnosed with a bulging disc and I feel mckenzie made my back worse and increased ddd

None repair discs: There are no supplements that repair discs.
Limiting your lifting, performing gentle stretching exercises, strengthening your abs, wearing a lumbar support brace, getting to a reasonable weight and even decompression machines or inversion tables that provide traction are all things that help. ...Read more

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Can physical therapy make bulging disc worse?

Can physical therapy make bulging disc worse?

Rarely: Typically a person with a bulging disc isn't going to cause "more damage" or make their problem worse by being active or participating in pt. That being said, certain activities and exercises should be avoided or else pain can increase. A spine specialist can tell you what activities to avoid and what exercises are beneficial, and this depends in part on the specific disc problem you have. ...Read more

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Have bulging disc, exercised, pain now worse than ever. Saw chiropractor, should I also see spine dr? He burned the nerves, but still have pain!

Have bulging disc, exercised, pain now worse than ever. Saw chiropractor, should I also see spine dr? He burned the nerves, but still have pain!

Bulging disc: I realize the agony and helplessness it brings to your life. However if you take appropriate action and find the right doctor the discomfort might stops, and the problem can be corrected.
Rec.: see intervention pain management specialist for evaluation and treatment.
Good luck. ...Read more

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I have a bulging disc l5/s1 can menustration make the pain worse?

I have a bulging disc l5/s1 can menustration make the pain worse?

Bulges: Discs naturally bulge as we age. Unless there is evidence on MRI and on exam that the disc is actually pushing on some other structure (typically a nerve) then the disc bulge is highly unlikely to be the cause of back pain. Look for other causes (muscles, joints, etc.) as for getting worse with menses, has your doctor considered endometriosis? ...Read more

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I have the worse burning stabbing pain in my head docs say its prob a bulging disc in my c spine. What can I do about the pain here at home?

I have the worse burning stabbing pain in my head docs say its prob a bulging disc in my c spine. What can I do about the pain here at home?

Headaches/Cerv disc: I wouldn't assume headache is a direct result of cervical disc problems unless it has been fully investigated. Yes, disc problems may cause muscle spasm and muscle tension headaches. But, not typically "the worst." maybe see a neurologist and be evaluated. If all clear, then pursue cervical treatment. Robin mckenzie book "treat your own neck" is $8.32 online, otc meds, injections if all else fails. ...Read more

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My MRI showed bulging disc L5S1 and moderate neuroforaminal compromise worse on left side with possible impingment of both exiting L5 nerve roots?

My MRI showed bulging disc L5S1 and moderate neuroforaminal compromise worse on left side with possible impingment of both exiting L5 nerve roots?

MRI: Ok you just read the MRI report. This means nothing alone. What to do depends on symptoms and exam. Unfortunately - medicine has lost sight of these components (good history and full exam). If you have no symptoms - do nothing. ...Read more

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Upper back pain for almost 9 months. 4 bulging disc in neck. When touch my chin to chest, get pain in the middle of chest only then and stretching it.

Upper back pain for almost 9 months. 4 bulging disc in neck. When touch my chin to chest, get pain in the middle of chest only then and stretching it.

Be seen: You may want to be seen to discuss the multiple nonoperative treatment options available for patients with degenerative disc disease. Hopefully would respond. ...Read more

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I have pain in my arm, and am wondering if I need to get into the doctor. I have a bulging disc between my L4 and l5...Was off of work for almost 3 weeks with it. I am back to work now and was overcompensating so now I pulled something in my top left sho

C4/5 disc?: I presume you meant C4 and c5. The disc herniation at this site can cause shoulder pain and weakness. If you are having increasing pain, weakness and numbness, please see a neurosurgeon soon. If you are having trouble walking or balancing, I recommend urgent evaluation. ...Read more

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Have leg and feet weakness in both herniated and bulging disc when I get up at night feel heavy in legs and feet and it hard to move why is this?

Have leg and feet weakness in both herniated and bulging disc when I get up at night feel heavy in legs and feet and it hard to move why is this?

Unusual: It is unusual for lumbar spine to affect both legs in this fashion especially bulging disk. If it is a spinal problem, it may be higher up in thoracic spine. Get it checked out please. ...Read more

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I'm 32 male and get severe aching and sharp pains from shoulder to finger tips. Doctors have said is bulging disc in neck then they said its muscular?

Need thorough exam: Pain radiating to the fingertips is not muscular from the neck solely. This needs to evaluated by a specialist (orthopedist, neurologist, physiatrist, neurosurgeon or pain management) to rule out a radiculopathy v radiculitis. You could possibly have concurrent problems going on like a neck, shoulder, elbow &/or wrist issue that can mimic a neck issue like a disc herniation, . ...Read more

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Can I get vertigo and chest muscle tension from a bulging disc in the neck?

Can I get vertigo and chest muscle tension from a bulging disc in the neck?

Interesting: A disc issue in the neck should not cause vertigo or dizziness. It can, in severe cases, cause issues with ambulation and gait stability. As far as chest muscle tension, there can be associated/referred pain that can be occasionally associated with lower cervical disc issues. Make sure there is no cardiac/heart issues in the presence of chest tension. ...Read more

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Can sexual activities like ejaculation and orgasm cause worsening symptoms in patients with Spinal stenosis, Herniated disc, Bulging disc?

Nothing permanent: Activity can affect these diseases but usually for the better. Exercise helps the problems but only a little.
Bulging discs are rarely symptomatic so have at it. ...Read more

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Herniated and bulging disc's some degenerating and narrowing of spine weakness in both legs and feet right side being worse, nerve pain nothing works

Herniated and bulging disc's some degenerating and narrowing of spine weakness in both legs and feet right side being worse, nerve pain nothing works

Please see below: Is there spinal cord compression on mri? Is nerve root imingement? If that's the case the only definitive treatment would be direct surgical decompression. This procedure can nowadays be done minimally invasively ANS often on outpatient basis. ...Read more

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CT shows bulging disc & nerve pressing at L5, have sever upper back pain, making it hard to get up or bend. Been walking with backpack, should I stop?

CT shows bulging disc & nerve pressing at L5, have sever upper back pain, making it hard to get up or bend. Been walking with backpack, should I stop?

? Upper pain cause: L5 is near the base of the spine. Symptoms are low back and leg. Upper back pain may require further imaging/clinical eval.
Backpacks can be bad for the whole spine. Fanny packs may be an inadequate substitute for some folks but they do transfer weight to the hips more directly. They sell pretty big ones. ...Read more

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I have a bulging disc at l5- would that cause my entire left side to be numb/tingly? Horrible in arm/hand and my hip socket! 4+ yrs and getting worse

I have a bulging disc at l5- would that cause my entire left side to be numb/tingly? Horrible in arm/hand and my hip socket! 4+ yrs and getting worse

Neuromuscular: L5 disc bulging can only give you back pain with numbness (with or without prickly sensation) weakness or pain in the back or legs. The symptom in your arm and hand could be to disc bulge or similar problem in you cervical spine (neck). Check with your physician for possible mri, EMG and nerve conduction studies for proper diagnosis and treatment. Hope you feel better soon. ...Read more

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I have a hard lump in neck didn't show of CT with contrast, have neck and shoulder pain, can you feel a bulging disc? Do they get rock hard like a bone

I have a hard lump in neck didn't show of CT with contrast, have neck and shoulder pain, can you feel a bulging disc? Do they get rock hard like a bone

Bulging disk: You will not be able to feel a bulging disk in your neck as the lesion is too deep to feel. The lump in your neck is likely muscle spasms, a reaction from the disc causing irritation to the nerve. ...Read more

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Bulging disc in lumbar. Constant pain/worse when lifting/or shifting weight. Spinal dr. Burned nerves. Pain continues. Arms/legs numb when bent. Help!

2nd. Opinion: See a neurologist. Bulging disc in low back can not cause pain or numbness in arms. A possibility of systemic disease or fibromyalgia needs to be considered. ...Read more

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Fuse L4-S1 2-14. Stomach bug May 1st. New sharp pain since, worsening. Pre-op MRI showed bulging disc at l3/4 also. Could puking have made this worse?

Fuse L4-S1 2-14. Stomach bug May 1st. New sharp pain since, worsening. Pre-op MRI showed bulging disc at l3/4 also. Could puking have made this worse?

It could: Certainly the force of bending over and vomiting could cause back pain. It is unlikely that it caused your disc to rupture, but it certainly could make the pain worse; although the pain may also be simple muscle strain. Talk to your back surgeon about the pain, so that he is aware of your changing symptoms. ...Read more

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I was diagnosed with a bulging disk. How did I get hurt?

I was diagnosed with a bulging disk. How did I get hurt?

Hard to tell: Bulging discs are a normal part of aging. They can happen spontaneously or as a result of injury. Particularly between your late 20s and 50s you are become more susceptible to disc issues. ...Read more