Bulging and herniated discs can have painful effects throughout your body. A bulging or herniated disc affects the “padding” between the vertebrae on your spine. When this padding ruptures or degrades, it can lead to back pain, leg pain, foot pain, and other issues.
A normal, healthy disc is like a wet sponge: it’s thick, flexible, and allows for a wide range of bending and twisting in the spine. When a disc is unhealthy, it’s like a dried sponge. It becomes stiff and hard. It doesn’t provide adequate padding for your spine, leading to movement problems. An unhealthy disc, over time, can bulge or herniate. In the long-term, discs can compress or degenerate.
Some people experience disc bulges, disc herniations, and disc ruptures due to an accumulation of trauma. Others experience it from untreated join disfunction. Some people simply fall victim to the effects of gravity over time.
When the discs in your spine constantly compress over time, it deprives the discs of valuable nutrients and oxygen. This causes the once-tough outer layers of the disc to soften, which can then lead to injury or disease within the disc. The two most likely places to experience this issue include the neck (the cervical spine) and the lower back (the lumbar spine). However, disc bulges and herniations can occur at any point alone the spine.
Disc bulges, disc herniations, and disc ruptures are all similar issues. However, they’re different conditions with different symptoms. Disc bulges, when left untreated, can lead to disc herniation, which can lead to disc ruptures.
What is a Disc Bulge?
A disc bulge occurs when the tough outer fibers of the spinal disc weaken and stretch, causing the jelly center of the disc to bulge outward. Picture the caramel inside a chocolate: when you press down on the chocolate, the caramel can squeeze out the sides. A disc bulge is the first step towards a more serious problem called a herniated disc.
What is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc is a more serious problem than a disc bulge. A herniated disc occurs when the tough outer fibers of the spinal disc not only degrade – they actually tear. This causes the jelly center of your disc to “herniate” – or bulge outward. A herniated disc is generally considered to be more serious than a disc bulge because the walls are torn during herniation and not just weakened.
A disc rupture occurs when the tough outer walls of the disc split, causing the jelly center to actually spill out.
What Are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc or a Bulging Disc?
Most symptoms of a disc bulge or herniated disc are related to irritation of your spinal nerves. The bulging or herniated disc will “pinch” these nerves, leading to a number of uncomfortable symptoms. Over time, this discomfort can lead to pain, eventually becoming severe or even debilitation pain.
Symptoms of a Lower Back (Lumbar Spine) Disc Bulge
If you’ve suffered a bulging or herniated disc in your lower back (your lumbar spine), then you may notice numbness, tingling, burning, sharp pain, or weakness in your lower body – including your legs and feet. Some patients also feel sharp pain along the backs of their legs. This symptom is known as sciatica.
Symptoms of a Neck (Cervical Spine) Disc Bulge
If you’re suffering from a disc bulge in your neck (your cervical spine), then you may notice tingling, burning, pain, or numbness in your arms and hands.
How Do We Treat Disc Bulges and Herniated Discs in At Our Clinic?
At Renew Chiropractic in Lakewood, Colorado, we specialize in using Chiropractic Biophysics and other techniques to treat disc bulges and herniated discs. Our advanced, science-based methods aim to realign your spine to its normal curvature, alleviating dangerous and unnecessary pressure on the nerves in your back.
If you or a loved one is suffering from lower back pain or other bulging disc symptoms, then Renew Chiropractic may be able to help. Call Dr. Jason Jumper at Renew Chiropractic to setup your free consultation at 720-493-5885.
Remember: many patients with herniated or bulging discs will learn to deal with symptoms and suppress the pain. Take an active approach to your treatment. Schedule your consultation with Renew Chiropractic today.