Various factors that include trauma due to automobile accidents, repetitive bending or standing, and degenerative changes that occur naturally with aging can cause bulging discs in the back, explains the Laser Spine Institute. Excessive alcohol consumption and hereditary disc disease can also contribute to bulging discs in the back.
Abrupt strain or stress to the lower back due to movements such as twisting or sneezing can cause bulging discs, explains WebMD. Small cracks in the discs of the back can cause leakage of the fluid that helps to keep the spine flexible, which in turn can cause the discs to break open.
Bulging discs in the spine can cause a variety of symptoms that include numbness or tingling in the legs, muscle weakness and spasms due to increased leg reflexes, according to All About Back & Neck Pain. Treatment for bulging discs includes physical therapy and medications to manage pain. In certain cases, doctors recommend surgical procedures to decompress the spine. During a decompression procedure, a surgeon removes small portions of the affected disc and vertebral body via an incision on one side of the chest. If larger portions of the disc or vertebral body require removal, additional surgery to fuse the spine together may be necessary.