|MadSci Network: Medicine|
A disc is a gelatinous type material that the body has between the vertebrae. This is a cushion to help with all the day to day type activities, that may stretch, twist and jar the spine. When a disc bulges, obviously you lose that cushioning effect and nerves which come out of the spine can be pinched. The symptoms can vary from where the disc is located from the neck down. Pain is one of the main symptoms, also numbness, sometimes bowel or bladder function changes also. Some symptoms(like the bowel or bladder problems) are more worrisome and need immediate surgery to decompress the nerve, where as other symptoms can by treated conservatively with anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, physical therapy, and even moist heat. There are several types of surgery much of which is more dependent on your own symptoms and where the disc is located. That maybe something you need to specifically address to your own doctor.
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