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Posted on 11-07-2017

Differences Between a Bulging and Slipped Disc

The terms bulging and slipped disc are often used interchangeably.  However, there are differences between the conditions, and depending on which you have, our Tacoma chiropractor may recommend a different treatment approach.

man with back pain

Spinal Discs

The discs between your vertebrae provide cushioning for your spine.  These discs are comprised of two layers.  The inner layer is soft while the outer layer is more rigid.  Over time, the discs in your spine can wear out, resulting in slipped or bulging discs. 

Bulging Disc

If a medical professional tells you that you have a bulging disc, it means that a portion, usually more than 25 percent, has bulged out of place.  When viewed on an x-ray, this can cause the disc to look too big in comparison to the adjacent vertebrae.  This condition only affects the outer section of the disc.  The inner section of the disc is not affected.  Individuals with bulging discs may or may not experience lower back pain and loss of range of motion of their spines.

Slipped Disc

Having a slipped disc means that a portion of the inner material of the disc has slipped through the outer section.  This condition is also called a herniated disc.  Individuals with herniated discs may feel back pain.  If the herniated material is pressing on the sciatic nerve, this condition can also lead to sciatica and pain, numbness and tingling in the legs.

Treating Bulging and Slipped Discs with our Chiropractor in Tacoma

Our chiropractor in Tacoma can determine if you have a slipped or bulging disc and recommend the appropriate non-invasive treatments with a thorough examination that may include x-rays of your back.

Bulging Discs

Chiropractic care for bulging discs typically involves chiropractic adjustments to ensure the vertebrae are properly aligned and massage therapy to help alleviate any muscle pain or stiffness that may be increasing the severity of your symptoms.  We may also recommend rehabilitation, which can help rebuild lost strength in your back muscles so that they are better able to support your spinal column.

Slipped Discs

Slipped or herniated discs may require a different treatment approach.  Instead of chiropractic adjustments, our chiropractor may recommend spinal decompression, which helps increase the spaces between the discs so that the displaced material can retract, and the disc can heal.  In addition to spinal decompression, you may also benefit from massage therapy, cryotherapy and rehabilitation.

Get Relief Today

To schedule an appointment for your lower back pain, call us at 253-472-3365.

How has our Tacoma chiropractor helped you with your bulging, slipped or herniated disc?

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