A bulging disc and spinal stenosis are common chronic back conditions that can make simple, everyday tasks, such as walking, sitting, and standing, extremely difficult. Dr. Trisha Patel of Revive Pain Management in Anaheim, California, diagnoses and treats these conditions with personalized care. Dr. Patel uses innovative imaging tests to observe the spaces inside your spine and then recommends the appropriate course of treatment to relieve your pain. If you’re dealing with constant lower back pain, call or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Patel to receive a comprehensive diagnosis.
Bulging Discs / Spinal Stenosis Q & A
What is a bulging disc?
Discs that act as shock absorbers and allow your back to move fluidly are situated between the vertebrae of your spine. A bulging disc occurs when one of those discs becomes weak or damaged and moves out of place, swelling through a pocket in the spine and protruding out. This occurs when a disc shifts out of its normal position, typically slowly over an extended period of time, and causes painful symptoms, such as:
- Pain in the neck, arms, shoulders, or hands
- Tingling in the neck, arms, shoulders, or hands
- Lower back pain
- Muscle spasms in the lower back
- Upper back pain
Several factors can lead to the development of a bulging disc. General wear and tear is a common cause, as are occupational hazards. If you work a job that requires repetitive lifting, bending, or standing, your risk of developing a bulging disc may be higher than it is for others. Injuries, bad posture, and degenerative disc disease can also result in a bulging disc.
What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a condition marked by the narrowing of spaces within your spine. It most commonly occurs in the lower back, or the lumbar spine, and the neck, the cervical spine. Wear and tear or changes to your spine related to osteoarthritis typically cause this narrowing of spaces in your spine.
Symptoms can vary, depending on which part of your spine spinal stenosis affects. They often include:
- Numbness or tingling in a hand, arm, foot or leg
- Weakness in a hand, arm, foot or leg
- Trouble walking
- Neck pain
- Back pain
With spinal stenosis, your symptoms can worsen over time.
How do you diagnose a bulging disc and spinal stenosis?
For diagnosing either a bulging disc or spinal stenosis, Dr. Patel discusses your symptoms with you, reviews your medical history, and performs a thorough physical examination. In order to better examine your spine and assess any damage, she may also opt for diagnostic imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRI scans, or CT scans.
How do you treat a bulging disc and spinal stenosis?
Treatment for bulging discs and spinal stenosis depends on the specifics of your condition and the root cause Dr. Patel uncovers. Medications, such as pain relievers, physical therapy, or steroid injections can reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Dr. Patel also offers more advanced regenerative medicine treatments, including PRP injections and stem cell therapy, to promote the repair of damaged tissue. She works closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that will produce the best results.
To learn more about treatment options available for spinal stenosis and bulging discs, call or schedule an appointment online today.