Disc herniations and bulges

In between each spinal vertebra there is a cartIlage disc, which acts as a shock absorber and allows for flexibility in your spine.

Imagine a disc to be like a jelly donut, with a tougher outer layer and soft inner core. When a disc is herniated, there is actually a crack in the outer layer that allows the softer inner core to leak out. The material that leaks out can cause compression on the spinal nerve roots exiting that site. Bulging discs often get confused with herniated discs, but they’re actually not the same thing. A bulging disc differs in that there is no leaking of the inner core. The outer layer remains intact but bulging occurs in a place where the outer wall has weakened.


More often than not, the disc gets weakened through repetitive strain caused by everyday activities such as bending and lifting or could be related to a trauma of some sort. If you have a long history of acute episodes of lower back pain, this can also predispose you to being at risk of disc trauma.

Symptoms of a herniated or bulging disc can include:
  • Radiating pain into limbs
  • Tingling in the legs/arms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness in extremities
  • Changes in bladder or bowel function

Of course, your symptoms depend on where the bulging disc is located along the spine.

Diagnosis of a disc herniation/bulge requires a full case history, orthopaedic and neurological examination to be performed. If further tests such as an MRI is required, this can be arranged.
How Chiropractic Treatment Can Help?

Chiropractic is a natural and non-invasive treatment for disc herniations and preferred by many patients over other treatment methods. Once a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan that best addresses symptoms and the underlying issue will be given.

Chiropractic care for bulging discs is safe and effective. A gentle treatment approach using flexion-distraction on a specifically designed treatment table, joint mobilisation, activator, dry needle and sacro-occipital technique will provide the best treatment outcome and response.

Herts Family Chiropractic’s holistic approach means your entire spine will be looked at, not just the area affected by the disc. This way, any joint dysfunction or restriction somewhere else in the spine or in the body that could be responsible for added stress and strain on the disc can be addressed. By getting the body working as it should be, it will not only help to relieve your symptoms but it eliminates any interference on the nervous system and facilitates natural healing to take place.

If you’re suffering from back problems and you are worried it may be associated with a bulging disc, please call 07947678375 to discuss your symptoms and if chiropractic care is an appropriate treatment of choice for you.