WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HERNIATED AND BULGING DISC?
Without cushioning discs between each of the vertebrae along your spine, your spinal bones would rub together. Even though these rubbery discs, made of a tough cartilage and a softer, cushioning center, are quite durable, sometimes they become damaged.
A herniated disc occurs when the rigid outer cartilage of the disc cracks, which allows the softer part in the middle to protrude through the disc. You may also hear a herniated disc referred to as a “ruptured” or “slipped” disc.
While similar, a bulging disc develops when the protective cartilage starts to dry out and stiffen — often due to age and wear-and-tear. These abnormalities in the disc change its shape, so it starts to bulge all the way around.
Whether you have a herniated or a bulging disc, one thing’s for certain: You’re in pain. The sooner you have an evaluation, the quicker you can start treatment for relief.
HOW IS A HERNIATED OR BULGING DISC DIAGNOSED?
In most cases, your dedicated practitioner at Spinetech can diagnose your herniated or bulge disc-based off your X-ray imaging, as well as a physical examination.
They’re also going to talk with you about your symptoms, which may include:
Upper (thoracic) or lower (lumbar) back pain
Shooting pains in your arms or legs
Tingling down your extremities
Widespread muscle weakness
Your practitioner is likely going to check your reflexes, muscle strength, and ability to walk during your examination. Once they diagnose your herniated or bulging disc and determine the severity of your condition, they can get you started on treatment right away.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR A HERNIATED OR BULGING DISC?
Herniated and bulging discs are known for causing debilitating pain. The dedicated pain experts at Spinetech offer several solutions to ensure you get fast and effective relief.
Your herniated or bulging disc treatment plan can include:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Nerve root blocks
While rare, sometimes surgery is the best treatment for herniated or bulging discs that don’t respond to conservative treatments. Typically, surgery involves using minimally invasive measures to remove the protruding part of the disc, so it no longer presses against your nerves. Rest assured you have a team of specialists at Spinetech who can help you get the relief you need.
Schedule your herniated or bulging disc checkup at Spinetech today. Click on the online scheduler or call your nearest location directly.