Difference Between Herniated and Bulging Discs

While bulging and herniated discs can cause back pain, the two conditions vary in causes and necessary treatments. Understanding the differences between bulging discs and herniated discs is vital for ensuring you get the proper care to alleviate pain and discomfort. Colonia Spine & Wellness in Colonia, NJ, can treat both conditions with non-invasive chiropractic care for patients in Colonia, Edison, Iselin, Clark, and Woodbridge, NJ. Continue reading to learn the differences between bulging and herniated discs and how we treat them.

What Is a Bulging Disc?

Discs act as cushions between vertebrae. A bulging disc occurs when the outer fibrous layer weakens, allowing the gel-filled center to press unevenly on one side. While the disc surface remains intact, the abnormal positioning of the disc can irritate nerves or reduce joint mobility. Bulging discs can cause localized back and neck pain, muscle tightness, and inflammation. However, these symptoms are typically mild. Bulging discs can occur due to poor posture, overuse injuries, and improper lifting techniques.

What Is a Herniated Disc?

Also known as ruptured or slipped discs, herniated discs occur when repetitive stress or sudden injury makes the fibrous exterior tear open. This tear allows the soft inner nucleus to leak and protrude into the spinal cord. Herniations lead to intense nerve compression and inflammation down the arms or legs. Herniated discs can cause numbness, muscle atrophy, coordination troubles, and severe pain. The most frequent cause of herniated discs is degenerative disc disease due to wear and tear from aging.

Key Differences

While bulging and herniated discs both involve inner material pushing beyond the outer boundaries, some crucial differences include:

  • Bulges develop slowly, while herniations start suddenly
  • Bulges remain intact, while herniations rupture through
  • Bulges compress locally, while herniations impinge surrounding nerves
  • Bulges cause mild to moderate pain, while herniations lead to intense pain
  • Bulges can correct on their own, while herniations require treatment

Your chiropractor near you can safely and effectively treat bulging and herniated discs with several techniques. Chiropractic adjustments can correct misalignments in your spine and return your disc to its proper position. Spinal decompression can gently stretch your spine and restore the space between your herniated disc and vertebrae. Your chiropractor may also give corrective stretches and exercises to strengthen your body and prevent re-injury.

Get Long-lasting Back Pain Relief Today by Visiting Colonia Spine & Wellness

Back pain due to a bulging or herniated disc can significantly impact your day-to-day life, so contact Colonia Spine & Wellness in Colonia, NJ, to get the chiropractic care necessary to feel like yourself again. Call us and schedule a consultation today at (732) 827-0028 if you are searching for a chiropractor near you in Colonia, Edison, Iselin, Clark, and Woodbridge, NJ.

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