Helping People Avoid Spine Surgery

What Is a Diffuse Cervical Bulge?

When you send your magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to your physician for evaluation, he or she may notice that you have a diffuse cervical bulge, sometimes referred to as a cervical bulging disc. This could be the cause of your neck pain. Symptoms may include pain in the neck, which can radiate into the shoulders, arms and hands. A person may also have tingling or numbness in the hands. If this is the case, then you can talk to Dr. George Papadopoulos, our physician and disc specialist about non-surgical treatment options at the Disc Center of ProMED Pain Rehabilitation Institute near Naperville.

This type of spine condition involves problems of an intervertebral disc, which is a cushion-like structure in the spine. Each vertebra, or spinal bone, is separated from the one next to it by an intervertebral disc. The discs provide the spine with shock absorption and flexibility. The discs located in the neck region are referred to as the cervical discs.

A diagnosis of a diffuse cervical bulge means that a disc in the neck area is bulging outward beyond its normal boundaries. This can occur due to trauma or injury or with age-related changes or wear and tear damage to the spine. The discs can lose water content over time, which can weaken them and reduce their elasticity. As a result, the discs are more vulnerable to bulging outward. In progressive cases, the annular fibers in the disc may tear and the disc material leaks, and the bulging disc becomes known as a herniated or ruptured disc.