If you have been experiencing pain in your hand, specifically numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, burning pain or a pins-and-needles sensation, you might be wondering what is causing these symptoms and what you can do to treat the pain. Read more to find out if a bulging disc could be the cause of your hand pain.
What is a bulging disc?
In the spine there are discs located between the vertebrae. The discs act as shock absorbers and also help the spine with flexibility and with movement. A bulging disc can cause painful symptoms and disrupt your everyday activities if the bulging disc has compressed a nearby nerve root. The natural aging process, everyday wear and tear on the spine, an injury or a degenerative spine condition, can all cause bulging discs.
Bulging disc symptoms
If a bulging disc compresses a nearby nerve root or the spinal cord, there are typically painful symptoms that result and must be treated. Symptoms range from:
- Localized pain
- Radiating pain
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle cramps
Specifically a cervical bulging disc, a bulging disc in the neck portion of the spine, can cause symptoms that radiate from the neck, to the shoulder, down the arm and into the hand and fingers. Some people describe the pain as a burning sensation, others as a throbbing pain and others as a dull ache. In severe cases you may start to lose manual dexterity and the ability to use your fingers to perform fine motor skills. A cervical bulging disc can also cause headaches that are similar to migraine headaches.
Treating a bulging disc and hand pain
Although most people find bulging disc symptom relief with conservative treatment options, for others, surgical intervention is required. Conservative treatment options, such as rest, massage, heat and ice therapy, exercise and stretching, physical therapy, pain medication and steroid injections can usually control symptoms and allow the body to heal. If conservative treatment does not control bulging disc symptoms after a few months, consult with your physician to determine if bulging disc surgery is the next step. If a bulging disc is left untreated, it can lead to permanent nerve and muscle damage.