How to Diagnose a Bulging Disc vs. Facet Joint inflammation vs. Muscle Tweak

bulging spinal disc

How to Diagnose a Bulging Disc vs. Facet Joint inflammation vs. Muscle Tweak

Getting an accurate diagnosis is paramount to a successful treatment strategy. But that’s easier said than done. In this article, we are going to offer some tips for differentiating between a bulging disc, a facet joint inflammation, and a muscle tweak in the back.

Bulging Disc

A bulging or “herniated” disc in your spine occurs when one of your spinal discs protrudes out of its normal location and interferes with the surrounding nerves and ligaments. Discs can herniate as the result of acute injury or due to degeneration over time. Common symptoms of a bulging disc include:

  • Pain in the back or neck
  • Tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation in the back and extremities

Bulging discs often require surgical intervention to prevent permanent nerve damage in the spine.

Facet Joint Inflammation

Various things can cause the facet joints in the spine to swell up including degeneration, acute injury, and other spinal conditions. Here are some symptoms of facet joint inflammation:

  • Intermittent pain in the back that recurs every few weeks or months for short periods
  • Tenderness and swelling in the area of inflammation

Treatment options for facet joint inflammation depend on what’s causing the inflammation.

Muscle Tweak

Muscle tweaks or strains can result from car accidents, sports, and exercise. Here are some symptoms of a muscle strain in the back:

  • Pain in specific areas of the back
  • Muscle twitches or spasms

Muscle tweaks typically do not require surgery, and can be treated effectively with conservative methods.

Inspired Spine procedures have been designed to focus on the patient’s needs. Our surgeries are study-backed and have been proven to offer less pain, and faster recovery periods than other procedures on the market. Whether you’ve herniated a disc in your spine, tweaked a muscle in your back, or are experiencing facet joint inflammation – Inspired Spine surgery can help you reduce your pain. Contact us today to learn more about these revolutionary minimally invasive spinal procedures (Inspired OLLIF and Inspired MIS-DTIF). You can also use our online tool to find a surgeon in your area who performs these procedures.



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