What Is Bulging Disc?

A bulging disc occurs when a spinal disc is damaged and the tough exterior extends out of it’s normal location between two vertebrae, resulting in irritation and pain from the surrounding nerves. A bulging disc may also be interchanged with conditions, such as slipped disc, ruptured disc or herniated disc, however there are slight differences between these conditions.

Pain from bulging discs often occur in the lower back or neck and can occur suddenly from injury or be due to deterioration over time as a normal part of the aging process – making it an extremely common condition.  

How do I know if I have Bulging Disc?

Bulging discs can cause pain directly associated with the spine condition, but can also contribute to other spine conditions, such as sciatica. Pain in the lower back and legs can range acute to chronic and is often described as shooting sharp nerve pain or numb tingling pain. Whether your bulging disc is triggered by injury or age-related degenerative disorders, it is important to seek medical diagnosis for persistent or worsening pain.

While bulging discs are most often age-related, with symptoms developing slowly over time, a bulging disc can also be caused by traumatic injury or an underlying spinal condition. Discussing symptoms and other factors like injuries will help Dr. Bruggeman determine whether you have bulging disc and which treatment might be best for you.

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What’s the right treatment for me?

Conservative measures like physical therapy, medications, or spinal injections are often used as nonsurgical treatment options for bulging discs. These nonoperative measures can provide pain relief for some people, however, if your symptoms begin to worsen over time you may require surgical treatment to provide long lasting pain relief.

To determine treatment or procedure that is right for you, Dr. Bruggeman will evaluate your unique situation and recommend an appropriate course of treatment given your individual case and medical history.



Take the first step toward a pain-free life. Use our online pain evaluation tool to determine what treatment may be right for you.