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What does a bulging disc in the neck mean?

A bulging disc in the neck can mean a couple of different things depending on the severity of the bulge (herniation). The neck, and the entire spine for that matter, is made up of bones called vertebrae stacked one on top of the other. In between each of the vertebrae are discs (made mostly of cartilage) that provide shock absorption and the ability to move the spine. If one of these discs becomes damaged or torn, the contents within the disc (a gelatinous substance) can bulge or herniate out into the spinal canal. If the herniation is small the individual will have little to no pain or discomfort, but if it is large enough to place compression on the nearby nerve or spinal cord it can cause severe problems like pain, numbness, weakness, and other body function loss.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.