A Spinal Disc Bulge or Herniation: What’s The Difference?

Bottom Line:

The bones, discs, ligaments, and muscles of your spine are designed to help you maintain proper spinal alignment, posture, and movement. Between each set of bones or vertebrae is a small rubbery disc. These discs act as small shock absorbers for your spinal bones and nerves. They have a tough, rubber-like outer layer called the annulus fibrosis and a soft jelly-like center that is called the nucleus pulposus. As you age or encounter injuries, the curve of your spine may fall out of alignment. This can place uneven stress on your spinal column and discs, increasing the chance of having a disc break down and herniate.

Why it Matters:

A disc herniation occurs when the outer portion of the disc ruptures (or tears) and the soft inner portion squeezes out.
This type of injury can cause pain at the site of herniation, or sometimes the herniated disc can pinch a nearby nerve,
causing pain that can radiate down into your arms and legs. Similarly, a disc bulge occurs when the outer wall of the
disc is weakened, but the inner portion has not yet broken through.

  • A disc herniation occurs when the inside of a spinal disc breaks through its outside wall.
  • Disc herniations often contribute to nerve compression, which can send pain, weakness, or numbness into your arms or legs.
  • By maintaining proper spinal alignment, you can reduce added wear and tear on your discs and potentially decrease the likelihood of a disc herniation.

Next Steps:

Now that you know what a disc herniation is, be sure to stay tuned. Next week, we’ll reveal the best ways you can find natural relief. Can you guess what type of care resulted in over 90% of people with a disc herniation finding improvement within the first few months? We’ll be back next week with the answer!

Science Source(s):

Columbia University. The Spine Hospital 2018
Herniated Disk: What is it? Harvard Medical School. Harvard Health Publishing 2018

Dr Bond

About Dr Bond

Hi there, I’m Dr Bond (Bondy to my friends), the owner here at The Back Dr. I’m a chiropractor, business owner, father, weekend warrior bike rider and all round lover of life. If you’re experiencing back pain, feeling older than your age or if you looking for guidance on how to look good, feel great & function better, then you sound like someone I’d love to work with. I’ve been a Chiropractor now for 25 years…ouch, that went fast. I know this might sound like a cliche but I really just love helping people with cranky backs. It makes my heart smile (and after 25 years of practice I’m getting pretty good too).

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