Having a disk bulge in your neck is painful and often unexpected. With proper treatment, you can alleviate the pain and prevent it from happening in the future. It is important to understand what this ailment is and how you can go about treating and preventing it.
Disc Bulge in Neck: Signs and Symptoms
The top part of your spine or neck is made up of individual bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae are cushioned by a disk which is wrapped in layers of connective tissue. In the middle of this connective tissue is a gel substance that is liquid enough to change shape. When the connective tissue is torn, this gel can start to protrude. This is what is referred to as a bulging disc in neck. The first symptom of this condition is pain in one side of the neck, commonly in the lower region. This pain might also shoot through one arm or be felt behind the shoulder blades. You may also experience headaches, stiffness, pins and needles, and muscle spasms. The pain might be sudden, or you might not feel it until the next morning. Sometimes it will start right during the activity, other times it might not set in until you do something insignificant like pick up a light object.
Disc Bulge in Neck Treatment
The injured disc can be pushed back into place within 3 days for people who are well balanced and active. Most people take 2-3 weeks for their disc to get back into place. Once the disc is back in place, you should have no pain and regain your full movement. However, there is also damage from the torn connective tissue. Once the disc is back in, this tissue still has to heal. This will take 6 weeks or more. If the bulging disc is severe or if there are multiple bulges, you may have to seek rehabilitation.
Exercises for Disc Bulge in Neck
There are two primary exercises often prescribed for patients with this condition. Make sure you talk to your doctor or other health care professional before trying these out yourself. Your treatment for bulging disc in neck might be different, so ask if these are right for you.
Chin tucks are commonly used to help reduce recovery time. Sit or stand tall with your shoulders back and your back straight. Tuck your chin, but stop when you feel discomfort. You should feel a moderate stretch. Make sure you look forward. Hold this position for 2 seconds and then slowly release. Repeat this exercise 10 times 5 times a day, as long as there is no worsening of pain or other symptoms.
Shoulder squeezes are another great exercise. Start in the same position as before. Bring your shoulder blades back, squeezing them together as hard as you can without pain. Hold for 5 seconds and then release. Repeat this exercise 10 times 5 times daily as long as there is no increase of pain or symptoms.
These exercises will help alleviate the pain and allow for a quicker healing time. Prevent this from happening again by having a decent posture and using proper lifting techniques. Strengthening the stability of your core will also help. Understand this condition and learn what you can do to treat it.