Bulgingdisc and herniateddiscare commonly used terms for intervertebral disc problems. People also use terms like slipped andruptured, but a disc does not actually slip, and ruptured just refers to a disc that has herniated. This can understandably cause some confusion when you just want to figure out what is wrong and how to fix it. For simplicity, we will stick with bulging and herniated for the rest of this post.
What are intervertebral discs, and what do they do?
In between each of your vertebrae, except the atlas and axis (C1 and C2), are flexible, gel-like pads. They are called intervertebral discs. They act as shock absorbers for your spine. These cushions absorb and disperse impact energy and provide spinal flexibility for bending and turning. Each disc is made of a tough cartilage surrounding a softer inner core called the nucleus pulposus.
Being an integral part of your spine, this puts them right next door to the bundle of nerves serving your spine and other areas. This is important to note because a bulging or protruded disc can press on these nerves and cause pain. Those nerves serve other parts of your body. That means you may feel pain in other areas, not just in your back.Read More “Bulging disc vs herniated disc: What’s the difference?”