If you’ve heard the doctor use the terms “bulging disc” or “herniated disc” to explain your back pain, you may be confused about the difference between the two. And that’s understandable.
Many people experience bulging or herniated discs at some point in their life. But it isn’t always easy to diagnose either condition, and the symptoms can be similar.
These conditions may be painful, and mistakes in diagnosis can lead to long periods of unnecessary discomfort.
To learn more about the differences between a bulging disc vs herniated disc, keep reading.
Definition of Bulging Disc and Herniated Disc
A bulging disc and a herniated disc are two very similar conditions, but there are some key differences to note. A bulging disc is a condition in which the outside of a spinal disc protrudes or bulges outward, but only slightly.
A herniated disc, on the other hand, is a condition in which the inner nucleus of the disc forces its way outward, creating a more pronounced bulge. Both of these conditions can put pressure on the nerves and cause pain and other symptoms.
Difference in Symptoms
A bulging and herniated disc are both types of spinal disc injuries that occur when one or more of the rubbery gel-packed discs that separate the vertebrae of the spine become damaged. A bulging disc is generally considered to be a less serious injury than a herniated disc, and the difference in symptoms is evident.
A bulging disc causes pain and pressure, but typically not numbness or tingling. A herniated disc is more serious, and the symptoms may include more severe pain, as well as numbness and tingling that cannot be experienced with a Bulging Disc.
Difference in Causes
One of the primary differences between the two is the cause and the degree of severity. A bulging disc is caused by the weakening of the disc walls resulting in a disc that has bulged outwards but whose walls remain intact. A herniated disc is caused by the rupture of the disc walls allowing the inner fluid to escape.
Difference in Treatment Options
The difference in treatment options between bulging discs and herniated discs is based on the severity of the issue. Generally, a bulging disc may require a period of rest and physical therapy to help manage the discomfort.
Whereas a herniated disc may require a more involved form of treatment such as surgery or a series of injections. Chiropractic care also works for both. If you are suffering from either of the two, try to find a pensacola chiropractor here to help with pain relief.
Learn to Compare Bulging Disc vs Herniated Disc
When comparing a bulging disc vs herniated disc, you’ll find out that they are quite similar but there are some key differences. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the injury and may involve physical therapy, medications, or even surgery. It’s important to consult with a qualified medical practitioner.
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