Is a bulging or herniated disc worse?

Although a bulging and herniated disc both impact the spinal disc, which cushions the spine and acts as a shock absorber to protect the spinal cord, these two conditions impact the spine differently. A bulging disc only affects the disc’s tough outer wall. When the walls of the disc deteriorate, it can cause a small portion of the disc to bulge.

A herniated disc creates a tear in the outer layer of the disc, causing the gel-like center of the disc to leak into the spinal canal. Compared to a bulging disc, a herniated disc is worse because it is more likely to create debilitating symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling and weakness as the discs herniate into the spinal cord and push on the nerves. To learn about the treatment options available to relieve a bulging or herniated disc, read the following article.

Conservative treatment options for a bulging or herniated disc

In the event that you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your spine, consult your doctor immediately. He or she will determine whether you have developed a bulging or herniated disc and decide the treatment options that are best for your spine care needs. Typically, a spine condition can be managed through a course of conservative treatments, including:

  • Pain medication
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Chiropractic care
  • Physical therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Epidural steroids

However, if your condition does not improve or your symptoms worsen after several weeks or months, then surgical intervention may become necessary.

Minimally invasive surgery for a bulging or herniated disc

If you require surgery to ease relieve your bulging or herniated disc, then contact the dedicated team at Laser Spine Institute. We perform minimally invasive procedures that are safer and effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery.^ Our procedures have helped thousands of patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain each year.

To treat a bulging or herniated disc, our board-certified+ surgeons use a small incision that is muscle sparing, allowing for a shorter recovery period and a lower risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery.^ To find out if you are a potential candidate for the outpatient procedures performed at our state-of-the-art facilities, reach out to us today and ask for a free MRI review.*

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