Bulging Disc or Herniated Disc

What Is a Bulging Disc or Herniated Disc?

The vertebral bodies are separated by the discs, which act as cushions yet allow enough flexibility for twisting and bending. The discs can bulge, protrude (bulging even more), or herniate (rupture).

With age, you can strain your disc through injury or improper posture, which can weaken the disc’s integrity, causing it to lose its shape and bulge into the spinal canal.  This bulging disc can push out and apply pressure to the spinal cord and spinal nerves, leading to painful symptoms including numbness; weakness, tingling and burning or you may not have any symptoms at all.

The term “bulging disc” is one of many terms used to describe the degree or extent of a herniated disc of the spine. 

A disc that is herniated has ejected some of its jelly like interior through a crack or rupture in its outer core. The jelly can impact a nerve root or the spinal canal causing a combination of leg and back pain

A herniated or bulging disc is the beginning cause of many diagnosed conditions of the spine such as foraminal or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), sciatica, or radiculopathy.  These conditions are all related to the space inside the spinal canal becoming narrow due to spinal arthritis, bone spurs, or disc herniated thus putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.