Disc Bulge / Disc Injury / Sciatica

A bulging disc injury is a common spine injury sustained to your spines intervertebral disc. It can occur in your lower back, upper and mid-back or your neck.

A bulging disc can commonly be referred to as a slipped disc or a protruding disc. However, when the disc bulge is significant enough for the disc nucleus to come out of the annulus, it is known as a herniated disc.

Where does the pain come from?

The pain comes from the part of the disc touching the nerve that runs down the leg. It is this bulging disc that comes in contact with the nerve that runs down the leg and creates inflammation. This is felt as pain and is sometimes called sciatica.

Illustration of a bulging disc injury

How does the disc come in contact with the nerve?

There are many reasons, but generally speaking, the spine has been under some pressure and the disc simply gives way, the inner disc material protrudes outside of the disc, or it pushes into the outer layers of the disc which creates the bulge or a bulging disc in the back or neck which causes neck pain.

What can create pressure on a vertebral disc?

  • Heavy lifting (irrespective of lifting posture)
  • Bending/seating with sustained poor posture

Bulging Disc vs Herniated Disc

What’s the difference between a Bulging Disc and a Herniated Disc?

Discs act as cushions between the vertebrae in your spine. They’re composed of an outer layer of tough cartilage that surrounds softer cartilage in the centre. It may help to think of them as miniature jelly doughnuts, exactly the right size to fit between your vertebrae.

Discs show signs of wear and tear with age. Over time, discs dehydrate and their cartilage stiffens. These changes can cause the outer layer of the discs to bulge out fairly evenly all the way around its circumference.

A bulging disc doesn’t always affect the entire perimeter of a disc, but at least a quarter if not half of the circumference of the discs is usually affected. Only the outer layer of tough cartilage is involved.

A herniated disc, on the other hand, results when a crack in the tough outer layer of cartilage allows some of the softer inner cartilage to protrude out of the disc. Herniated discs are also called ruptured discs or slipped discs, although the whole disc does not rupture or slip. Only the small area of the crack is affected.

Compared with a bulging disc, a herniated disc is more likely to cause pain because it generally protrudes farther and is more likely to irritate nerve roots. The irritation can be from compression of the nerve or, much more commonly, the herniation causes painful inflammation of the nerve root.

If an advanced imaging scan indicates that you have a herniated disc, that disc might not be the cause of your back pain. Many people have MRI evidence of herniated discs and have no back pain at all.

Dr Farrugia (Chiropractor) has an interest in working with patient’s who suffer from pain relating to a disc bulge or disc herniation injury. Over his 12 years of practice, he has come across many different variations of disc bulge severity and utilises a flexion distraction chiropractic table to work with their disc bulge or bulging disc symptoms. Patients with disc herniations can be extremely challenging to treat unless the correct protocol is followed. As a general rule the longer you suffer from disc herniation pain the harder it is to work with.


How Can I Treat a Disc Bulge /Disc Injury?

At Perth Chiro Centre, we have Flexion Distraction Chiropractic Tables. These tables are made specifically to distract out the spine and in doing so it can take pressure off the lower back. We are one of the few clinics in Perth to utilize these expensive treatment tables in an effort to get the best results for our patients. 

Flexion Distraction Tables for Disc Bulge Treatment

To look more into lower back disc bulge treatment options at Perth Chiro Centre – CLICK HERE NOW!

Contact Us 

To book an appointment please call us;

Greenwood Clinic                (08) 9342 1211

Wembley Downs Clinic       (08) 9341 3002

Alternatively, click here to book online.