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Herniated & Bulging Disc

Herniated & Bulging Disc services offered in Jacksonville, Gainesville, Lake Worth, Pensacola, Tallahassee, Panama City and Miami, FL, Brunswick, Savannah and Pooler, GA and Bluffton, Greenville and North Charleston, SC

Up to 5% of Americans experience herniated disk pain at some point in their lives. The orthopedic surgery, pain management, and chiropractic specialists at Medicus Spine & Joint understand how severe leg, back, or neck pain can be with a herniated disk. They offer leading-edge treatment solutions in five offices in Brunswick, Georgia; Mount Pleasant and Bluffton, South Carolina; and Gainesville, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville, Florida, so call the one nearest you or book your consultation online today.

Herniated & Bulging Disc Q & A

What is a herniated disk?

Spinal disks are the rubbery gel-filled pads between your spinal bones (vertebrae). A herniated disk occurs when the gel protrudes through a crack in the outer disk. 

The extruded gel can put pressure on nerves in your spinal canal, causing pain. Herniated disks are most common in the lower back.

How are a herniated and bulging disk different?

A bulging disk occurs when age-related spinal changes cause the disk to protrude in one area. It doesn’t feature a crack in the disk like a herniated disk does.

Although a bulging disk can cause pain, it’s generally not as severe as herniated disk pain. A bulging disk can progress to a herniated disk.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disk?

Herniated disks don’t always cause symptoms. You may find out about a herniated disk only because you’re having tests to check another issue. But, when herniated disks cause pain, it can be quite disruptive. Common symptoms include:

  • Sharp low back pain
  • Sciatica: low back pain that shoots down one leg
  • Sharp neck pain
  • Cervical radiculopathy: neck pain that shoots down an arm
  • Numbness along the path of the nerve
  • Weakness along the path of the nerve
  • Restricted movement in your spine, leg, or arm

Herniated disk pain may come and go or can be constant. 

How are herniated disks diagnosed?

Providers can usually diagnose your bulging or herniated disk with a physical exam and medical history. They’ll often ask you to lie flat and move your legs in specific ways and may also check your sensation.

An X-ray helps rule out other conditions, and a CT scan can show details of the spine; however, MRI is generally the diagnostic imaging test used for both herniated and bulging disks. A nerve 

conduction study can pinpoint nerve damage. 

When should I seek treatment for a herniated disk?

In about 90% of cases, herniated disk symptoms resolve naturally within six weeks, but waiting to see if the problem goes away isn’t convenient when you have severe pain. So, if pain interrupts your life, it’s time to seek treatment.

Your providers may recommend physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, cortisone injections, cell rejuvenation injections like platelet-rich plasma (PRP), or, rarely, minimally invasive spine surgery like disk replacement. Fortunately, most people get better with nonsurgical care. 

Call Medicus Spine & Joint or click on the online scheduler for herniated disk help now.