Struggling with Bulging and Herniated Discs?
Laser Spine Procedures Can Help
It is likely that you have heard people refer to a herniated disc and a bulging disc as if they were the same thing. There are a lot of similarities between the two conditions, but there also some things that make them different. Let’s start by talking about what these two conditions have in common.
Both of these conditions affect the discs that sit in between your vertebrae. These discs are oval in shape and serve as shock absorbers for the vertebra in your spine. In addition to being shock absorbers, your intervertebral discs give you flexibility and protect your spinal cord from certain types of damage.
To understand the makeup of your intervertebral discs, think about a jelly filled donut. The outer layer of the doughnut is relatively tough when compared to the jelly on the inside.
This outer layer of the doughnut is comparable to the annulus fibrosus, or the external layer of your spinal disc. The jelly on the inside of the doughnut is comparable to the gel-like center, or the nucleus pulposus, of your intervertebral disc.
In addition to being called a herniated disc or bulging disc, terms like slipped disc and ruptured disc are often used. Regardless of the name used, the symptoms are usually the same pain, muscle weakness, tingling sensation, and a burning sensation down your leg.
Treating and Diagnosing Herniated and Bulging Discs
Typically, diagnosing bulging and herniated discs begins with a physical examination as well as a series of questions pertaining to your medical history. Your doctor will be interested in the extent of your symptoms, when the pain started, and how the pain is affecting your range of motion.
Your doctor may recommend an MRI or CT scan coupled with x-rays. Once it has been determined that you have a herniated or bulging disc, our team can work with you in creating a non-invasive or minimally invasive treatment plan designed to get to the heart of your problem.
We understand that the pain herniated and bulging discs cause can be debilitating. The pain can make you feel like you are unable to enjoy time with friends and family, and it can make it difficult for you to go about your everyday activities.
We know from first-hand experience that disc-related pain can be treated. It is not something that you need to live with. If you are tired of the way that disc pain is affecting your life, contact us. Let us show you how our minimally invasive and non-invasive treatments can work for you.
Differentiating a Herniated Disc from a Bulging Disc
Herniated and bulging discs are caused from the same things, which include poor posture, trauma, age-related deterioration, or spinal strain.
A herniated disc is where the outer layer of the disc is ruptured and the gel-like center protrudes through the rupture. With a herniated disc, the gel may leak into the spinal canal. A herniated disc often starts as a bulging disc, but the pressure is so great that a rupture occurs in the disc.
With a bulging disc, the disc does not break or rupture. However, a small bulge may form in the disc, which protrudes into the spinal canal. None of the gel-like center of the disc has leaked out.