What Are Herniated or Bulging Discs? How Do They Differ?
At Care Chiropractic Center in Tamarac, these are common questions we are asked by our patients.
Discs are found between the vertebrae in your spine and act as cushions or shock absorbers. They consist of a tough outer layer of cartilage and a soft gel-like inner layer. In this way, they are analogous to small jelly doughnuts.
What Causes A Disc to Bulge or Herniate?
As we age, discs will begin to dehydrate and the cartilage stiffens causing the outer layer of the disc to bulge outward. At this point, only the outer layer is involved. A herniated disc occurs when an injury or wear and tear causes a crack in the outer layer of the disc allowing the gel-like material to protrude outside the disc’s normal borders.
Do Bulging Discs and Herniated Discs Cause Pain?
Although a bulging disc can cause pain, a herniated disc is more likely to do so, as it protrudes further and is more likely to cause nerve root irritation. The irritation can be the result of nerve compression (pinched nerve) or the herniation causes inflammation of the nerve root.
What Are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
Disc herniations may have no symptoms, however common symptoms include:
- Neck and back pain and stiffness
- Pain, numbness, tingling, burning sensation, pins & needles sensation in the arms and/or legs
- Muscular weakness or muscle spasms in the arms or legs
The Care Chiropractic Team Can Help
If you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, chiropractic care may be right for you. After taking your health history and performing an in-depth physical examination, which may include x-rays or other tests, a diagnosis can be made along with a customized treatment program to meet your needs. Our team provides the Tamarac area with modern therapies and life-style counseling that are often more effective and safer than masking pain with medications. If you think you may have a herniated or bulging disc, or you are experiencing neck or back pain, don’t wait, call us at (954) 720-1107.