To relieve pain from a bulging disk in the neck, doctors may recommend ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, conservative treatment involving both rest and medications, or physical therapy for reducing nerve pressure, reports Healthline. Traction devices for home use may decrease nerve pressure. Narcotic pain relievers and muscle relaxers relieve serious pain, while cortisone injections into the spine alleviate pain for long periods.Continue Reading
Around 10 percent of patients with bulging disks need surgery, as of 2015, notes Healthline. Some patients with bulging disks in the neck do not experience pain, while others suffer serious neck pain that sometimes radiates to the shoulders, arms and chest. Numb or weak arms or fingers also indicate a bulging disk in the neck. In some cases, patients feel that the pain and numbness are similar to heart attack symptoms.
When a bulging disk ruptures completely, it progresses into a herniated disk, explains Healthline. Degenerative disk disease commonly causes a bulging disk that leads to spinal osteoarthritis. Spinal disks are vulnerable to degeneration over time because they serve as shock absorbers and assist with spinal motions.
Injury, bad posture, smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are other possible factors that cause a bulging disk, states Healthline. Doctors diagnose a bulging disk by performing a physical examination and ordering imaging tests, such as a computed tomography scan and spinal X-ray.Learn more about Conditions & Diseases