Did you know the human head weighs an average of 10-11 pounds? Grab two 5 pound bags of sugar or think about a 10 pound bowling ball...that is how much weigh is perched up there on your neck! Knowing this, it makes sense that your neck may have problems from time to time.
One of the most frequent conditions involving your neck bones is a bulging disc. Between each vertebrae is a gel-filled disc that acts as a shock absorber and helps the spine move. A damaged disc, may bulge, pushing backwards into the spinal canal. The disc usually bulges toward one side of the canal (either right or left), which is why people with a bulging disc are likely to have pain and tingling on just one side of the body.
A bulging disc in your neck may be relatively painless, but it can also cause severe pain in your neck, as well as your shoulders, chest, and arms. Additionally, it may cause numbness or weakness in your arms or fingers. Sometimes, this pain and numbness may even cause you to think that you’re having a heart attack.
Degenerative disc disease is the most common cause of bulging discs, often resulting in spinal osteoarthritis. Other factors that can cause or contribute to bulging discs include:
If you have pain that could be from a bulging disc, your doctor will give you a physical exam. You’re also likely to have one or more imaging tests. Fortunately, there are several ways to treat a bulging disc: