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Life Chiropractic and Acupuncture Blog

The Difference Between Herniated and Bulging Discs

Joseph Coupal - Sunday, March 24, 2019

Greetings once again from your friends at Life Chiropractic and Acupuncture serving Newark, North Bergen, and the surrounding areas. We produce podcasts and blogs as a public service to educate the general public about how and why Americans increasingly include chiropractic treatment in their pain management care plan. We offer a comprehensive approach to pain management that includes postural correction, spinal screenings, and a host of various pain management services and techniques.

Today, Dr. Hernandez describes for you the differences between disc herniation and disc bulging. We invite you to listen and read along with Dr. Hernandez as he discusses this subject and provides insight about how chiropractic treatment combined with acupuncture care services can offer you an alternative to invasive and painful surgical procedures. Of course, we invite you to contact us anytime to learn the specifics of our approach to treating herniated and bulging discs and how Life Chiropractic here in North Bergen can help you live the pain-free life that you deserve!

Now, on to Dr. Hernandez’s video.

Good morning! My name is Dr. Alex Fernandez, and today I’d like to talk to you about the difference between a disc herniation and a disc bulge. There’s a lot of confusion around what these two things are, so today I’m going to clarify it for you. I’m going to give you a good visual as to what a disc bulge is and what a disc herniation is.

Now, most people know we have discs that are between each of the bones; and this is your visual: a disc, a bone, a disc, bone, disc, bone, disc, bone, and a disc in between here, and a bone. Here are the nerves, the nerves are to the side. And then here, we have the spinal cord. Now, what happens is when people injure themselves (whether it’s a car accident, whether it’s a sport injury such as football, soccer) sometimes they’re going out and they’re taking their luggage out of a car, they can herniate a disc. Performing any type of weight lifting incorrectly can also herniate a disc.

And basically, let’s start out with what a disc bulge looks like. So, here’s an example of the material for the disc that begins to leak out. When that material leaks out, it can release toxins, and these toxins can cause pain.

Now, the next one is what most people understand as a disc herniation, and this is what it looks like; the disc actually leaks out completely to the back and it can touch the spinal cord right here. This is not a good event. This can cause a lot of pain, a lot of discomfort, and this is what gets people not being able to get out of bed. The next disc herniation is one that goes to the side, so this actually leaks to the side and it can pinch the spinal nerve. So this is what most of us know as a pinched nerve. So the disc herniation pinches the nerve, this also causes a lot of pain. What you have to understand from these disc herniations is that not only structurally they pinch the nerve, but they release these toxins which cause pain. So this is the difference between the two.

I also have a poster over here which I will show you. This is a classification of the disc problems, and here we see again the disc bulge; very mild when we look at it from the side. And the disc herniation; a lot bigger, and you could see all the materials squeezing out.

And now let me give you a short video on what that looks like. So over here, we’re gonna see bird’s eye view; we’re gonna see the disc, you see has rings, we see the center which is the nucleus, spinal cord, nerves, and then this is the bones. And we could see what happens is the material leaks out, again pushing on that spinal cord. And a short video here for you, we have the bone, we have the disc, bone, nerve, nerve, nerve, nerve; and we could see exactly what happens live when the disc herniates. So, rips through all of the rings, squeezes out, pushes on the nerve root, and creates pain.

Now, what do you do about these things is very important. You want to take care of these disc herniations, you want to take care of these disc bulges because they can get worse, they can make your symptoms worse, you can have a lot more pain.

We do take care of that with conservative chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, we can do some exercises for them. This is something that you can get relief from. So if you have any questions regarding this, I hope this was of value to you. Contact me at my office 201-861-2025. Thank you for your time.