A bulging disc in the neck is not necessarily symptomatic but neck pain and other symptoms can arise when a cervical nerve root becomes compressed by a bulging disc. Playing golf with a bulging disc in the neck may, therefore, become virtually impossible. Anyone who plays golf knows that success on the course depends on the ability to repeat a smooth, integrated swing. This requires coordinated body movement from head to toe, which is hard to maintain if a bulging disc is causing a pinched nerve in the neck or any other part of the spine.
Recognizing a Bulging Disc in the Neck
Avid golfers are typically very in tune with their bodies. They recognize when something is not quite right, physically. So, when a bulging disc in the neck begins to cause cervical nerve compression, it becomes obvious very quickly to a golfer that there is a potentially serious problem. What does a cervical disc bulge feel like when it leads to nerve compression? Here are the tell-tale symptoms:
- Unusually sharp neck pain that comes and goes, depending on the position of the head and neck
- Pain that radiates from the cervical region to the upper back, arms, and/or hands and fingers
- Tingling or numbness in the upper back, arms, and/or hands and fingers
- Muscle weakness in the arms and/or hands and fingers
In general, these symptoms are felt only on the side of the body that corresponds to the location of the compressed nerve. Such symptoms are known as unilateral, as opposed to bilateral symptoms of pinched nerves in the neck that are experienced on both sides of the body and are less common.
Learn to Recognize the Difference
Most people who golf on a regular basis also develop the ability to cope with the nagging aches and pains that are a natural result of repetitive twisting, turning, and explosive use of the neck muscles. It is vital that someone who begins to experience nerve compression symptoms not try to play through the pain. Any symptom that seems to be out of the ordinary – chronic neck pain qualifies – should prompt a golfer to stop playing and see a doctor to have the condition diagnosed. Continuing to play golf with a bulging disc in the neck or any other chronic neck problem is a good way to exacerbate the condition, potentially leading to a herniated disc or worse.