What is a Bulging Disc?
The spine is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae. In between the vertebrae are protective shock absorbent rings called discs. As we move around in our day-to-day lives, we can put wear and tear on the vertebrae and the discs through stretching, bending, twisting, poor posture, and inactivity. This can cause a disc to become misaligned with the spine, causing a bulging disc.
How Does This Happen?
Bulging discs are often the result of wear and tear brought on by movement distortions. How we move is highly dependent on how we breathe. The proper shape and positioning of the diaphragm (the primary muscle used for respiration which separates the stomach from the chest) within the rib cage is called the zone of apposition. It dictates the degree of symmetry of our movements from head to toe.
When we are in proper alignment, the diaphragm becomes relaxed and domed, creating a zone of apposition. This allows for full and deep exhalation and proper range of movement for the abdominal muscles. They help with pulling the rib cage down into place and rotating it internally to allow for concise airflow as we exhale. However, when we struggle with shallow breathing, the zone of apposition disappears and prevents the abdominal muscles from keeping the rib cage in place with exhalation. This lack of anchoring can cause strain on the neck, shoulders, and back, leading to things such as bulging discs.
Signs of A Bulging Disc
- Pain and tingling in the extremities, neck, shoulders, lower back, and/or butt area
- Walking difficulties
- Spasms near and around the affected area
How Do You Fix a Bulging Disc?
Most cases of bulging discs resolve on their own within three months. It is important to stabilize and open up the rib cage area. We would suggest the following exercises:
- Release – psoas
- Activate – TVA iso
- Integrate Pelvic Hip Hike – Lateral Sling
- Strengthen – 4-point cat/cow