Herniated or Bulging Disc

What is a Herniated or Bulging Disc?

Disks are rubbery cushions between the bones in the spine (vertebrae) that absorb shock when you walk or run.

A herniated disk is a common back and neck problem in which the tough outer layer of cartilage (which cushions and protects joints) cracks and some of the soft jelly-like cartilage in the center of the disk slips out. It’s also called a “slipped” or “ruptured” disk and is most common in the lower back.

A bulging disc is caused when the cartilage moves out of it’s normal position in the spine, but does not rupture.

Both herniated discs and bulging discs are caused by normal wear and tear on the spine. Sometimes, lifting heavy things the wrong way or twisting and turning while lifting something can cause a herniated disk. In rare cases, a herniated disk can be caused by a fall or getting hit on the back.

Sometimes, the herniated disk irritates surrounding nerves, resulting in pain and other symptoms, however not all herniated disks are painful. Bulging disks are not usually painful unless the disk presses against a nearby nerve.

What are the Symptoms of a Herniated or Bulging Disc?

Some people can have a herniated or bulging disk without knowing it.

For a herniated disk in the back, the most common symptom is a sharp pain in the butt that goes down the leg (sciatica).

Common symptoms of a herniated or bulging disk are:

  • Pain ranging from a dull ache to severe pain
  • Numbness, tingling, and burning
  • Muscle weakness or spasm
  • Tingling or numbness

Get medical care right away if you experience loss of bladder or bowel control and extreme weakness in both arms or legs.


What are the Treatments for a Herniated or Bulging Disc?

Our pain management doctors will use the best treatment to relieve your pain — so you can stop hurting and get back to your normal lifestyle.
Treatments for a herniated or bulging disc available at the Interventional Pain Management Center are:

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