When an intervertebral disc weakens or is injured, it may leak its contents or protrude beyond the limits of the vertebrae. Nerve compression could then occur, causing pain, tingling, burning, and loss of mobility.
How They Are Different
Intervertebral discs cushion and protect the vertebrae. Herniated and bulging discs can result from injury to the spine, poor lifting techniques or posture, or normal wear and tear. In both cases, the outer wall of the thick fibrous intervertebral disc weakens, allowing the gelatinous inner fluid to push the wall out beyond the circumference of the vertebrae. A herniated disc is one in which the outer wall ruptures, allowing the fluid to seep into the area around the spine; the inner fluid of a bulging disc pushes the disc wall itself into the spaces around the vertebrae. Nerve roots exiting the spinal column through the vertebrae are vulnerable to pressure and pinching by these intrusions.
Typically, if you are suffering from a herniated or bulging disc, your doctor will prescribe a moderate, non-invasive course of treatment, possibly including:
- Anti-inflammatory steroid injections
- Pain medication
- Application of heat and/or cold to reduce swelling and pain
- Lifestyle changes
Regrettably, not every patient will respond well to such conservative treatment. If your doctor has decided that surgery may be your best option, contact Laser Spine Institute (LSI). We have at our disposal the most innovative spine technology available: endoscopic laser-assisted procedures designed to treat these painful conditions with a minimum of discomfort, inconvenience, and risk. For a free review of your last CT scan or MRI, contact LSI today.