Either from exercise, trauma, or overexertion, a bulging – or herniated disc – can affect your body in different ways. While some symptoms are more cumbersome than others, it’s important not to ignore the signs you are experiencing. A herniated disc can affect your spine and your spinal cord so it’s imperative that you consult a doctor on any specific dangers you need to be aware of that could affect your mobility or quality of life. While you can experience a herniated disc anywhere along your spine, what’s especially painful is when there is a bulging disc in the neck. How can you tell whether you’ve got a herniated disc in your neck, and how can you deal with it?
Assess your symptoms
Neck pain can be caused by any number of problems, from an accident to just sleeping the wrong way one night. Regular neck pain could even be stress and tension manifesting in a physical way, but a bulging disc would cause significantly different symptoms. If your pain is mainly in your neck or radiating down to your arms or even your fingers, a bulging disc could be the reason why.
Location of pain
The way that a herniated or bulging disc manifests itself, it can make it very painful on the affected area. If the bulging disc is in your neck you might feel stiffness in your neck, but your pain can be felt anywhere from your neck to your shoulders or arms, that is because the herniation could be touching your nerve, affecting different areas in the body.
Numbness or tingling
Again, as the herniated disc stimulates the nerve near your spine, you might feel some different sensations throughout your body. Some people report the feeling of pins and needles, while others just notice that different body parts are numb or tingling. This can be very serious if left untreated.
Weakness in muscles
As a result of the spinal nerve compression, you may find that your muscles are not as strong as they once were. Depending on the location of the bulging disc in your neck and how much it is touching your spinal nerve, you can lose basic reflexes in your muscles, basic function, or even notice involuntary reflexes.
Similar to the way a migraine affects your balance, sensitivity to light and can even cause nausea, so to can a herniated disc. The disc that hits your spine can actually manifest your pain in the form of a headache. Also called cervicogenic headaches, this symptom is basically your brain being tricked into thinking it is experiencing a headache when it feels pain caused by your spinal nerve. In fact, many people with bulging neck discs get misdiagnosed with migraines, when that is not likely the case.
If you suspect you are suffering from a bulging or herniated disc that is affecting your quality of life, reach out to us today. For a consultation, call Advanced Bone & Joint in St. Charles County at (636) 224-4192 or you can request an appointment online.