Disc Herniation vs Disc Bulge vs. Slipped Disc

Which of these is the one you actually have?  These terms get used interchangeably, so let’s break down each one.

Let’s talk about the anatomy involved in the disc.  It is made up of 2 different parts.  The tough, outer layer is called the annulus fibrosus  and the soft centre is call the nucleus pulposus.

bulging disc occurs when the annulus fibrosus is pushed out from the disc’s centre, but is still intact.   As you can see, the annulus fibrosus is pushing to the back and side, putting pressure on the nerve exiting in this area.

disc herniation occurs when the nucleus pulposus pushes through the annulus fibrosus and puts pressure on the nerve in this area.  In addition to the pressure present by the  nucleus pulposis, you also get a chemical irritation reaction in the area as you now have a substance (the nucleus) that should not be present in this area.

slipped disc is a vague term that really could be applied to either situation above.

The symptoms for either situation are going to be similar.  Most commonly, the symptoms will include:

1.  (Sharp) pain with referral down the arms or legs – sometimes down both legs or arms, but usually down a single leg or arm.

2.  Numbness or tingling in an arm or leg

3.  Weakness in an arm or leg

4.  An increase in symptoms upon coughing or bearing down

Treatment should be sought as soon as possible.  This allows for the quickest healing time.  The treatment of choice here at Back2Life Chiropractic is Cox Flexion/Distraction.  It is non-surgical and non-invasive and has an excellent success rate.  The premise of Flexion/Distraction is that it creates a situation in the body where the disc is sucked back into place.  This can happen in a short amount of time (1-2 visits), but typically takes a little longer.  There are less than a handful of these tables in Toronto, but we have one here at Back2Life Chiropractic.

For more information on treating disc injuries, call us at Back2Life in Toronto 416-792-2599.


10 Medically-Diagnosed-as-Needing-Surgery Cases Successfully Treated
Gallucci G [1438 S.O.M. Center Road, Mayfield Heights, OH 44124 — (216)461-4848]: The effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for disc syndrome. A study by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Ohio and Physicians First, Inc. (1996)

Intervertebral Disc Pressure Changes During The Flexion-Distraction Procedure for Low Back Pain
Authors: Gudavalli MR*, Cox JM*, Baker JA*, Cramer GD*, Patwardhan AG**
*National College of Chiropractic, 200 East Roosevelt Rd, Lombard, Illinois, U.S.A. **Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, Illinois, U.S.A.

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