What is Disc Bulge?
The neck comprises of many bones known as vertebrae, each of which is separated by a disc. A disc is made up of an strong, outer layer surrounding an inner portion which has a soft, jelly-like substance that is capable of changing shape. If there is a tear in the strong, outer layer (due to repetitive wear and tear, or an acute, traumatic injury), then the soft inner layer may protrude from the disc. This is known as a slipped disc, protruding disc or herniated disc
There are a number of activities that commonly cause neck disc bulges
- Bending the neck forwards
- Poor posture (especially while sitting or sleeping)
- Side bending your neck
- Activities where you use your arms out in front of your body
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of a neck disc bulge typically include:
- One-sided neck pain, usually in the lower neck
- Pain radiating down the arm or hand
- Muscle spasm
- Pins and needles, numbness or weakness
- Reduced range of motion in the neck
Pain may start suddenly while you are performing the causative activity, or you may not experience pain and/or stiffness until after the event, usually the next morning.
Physiotherapy treatment is important to speed up the healing process, reduce the chance of recurrence and ensure the best outcome. Treatment techniques may include soft tissue massage, joint mobilisation, electrotherapy, ultrasound, heat therapy, dry needling, taping, postural re-education and ergonomic advice, education, a home exercise program including stretching and strengthening exercises and a gradual return to activity program.