Disc bulge, more commonly called a “bulging disc,” is a misalignment of the cushions (discs) between the vertebrae. This can happen for a number of reasons such as a normal part of aging, trauma, injury, or strain. Symptoms may, but not always, include pain, numbness, or muscle weakness in or around the affected area. Depending on where the bulge is located and the extent of its protrusion, one could experience symptoms in their arms, legs, or extremities, or changes in bladder and bowel function. In severe instances, the disc(s) can protrude enough to cause bone spurs, which in turn can instigate a narrowing of the spinal canal.
In many cases, bulging discs heal on their own or with physical therapy. They should, however, be monitored for improvement, and looked into further if the pain does not subside or gets worse over time.