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Have you been diagnosed with a disc bulge or herniation? If so, we are here to help.


A disc bulge or herniation is an injury to the spine that can cause considerable pain and dysfunction. This type of injury occurs most commonly in the lower back (lumbar spine), followed by the neck (cervical spine).

The discs are essentially the 'shock absorbers' that sit between the bones (vertebral bodies) of the spine, and provide cushion and range of motion to the spine. They are strong structures, made up of tough fibers called the annulus fibrosis that wrap around the gel centre, called the nucleus pulposis. Sometimes we can get a tear within the annulus causing a weak point, which results in a bulged section of the disc when it is under compressive load. The damage to the disc can result in a lot of inflammation and pain in the lower back, and in some cases result in pressure upon one of the spinal nerves, resulting in sciatic pain down the leg (sciatica).


anatomy of lumbar disc herniation

Disc herniations can be both traumatic, such as from a sudden or unexpected heavy lifting load on the spine, or degenerative in nature. With degenerative tears, over time there is repetitive micro tearing of the outer disc fibers, and is generally part of the normal aging process of the spine. These can sometimes be asymptomatic, but if it progresses to the point of a significant bulge, it can cause considerable pain.



How do we treat disc bulges?

Your chiropractor is trained to assess the nature of your disc bulge and how best to treat it. In some cases scans may be needed to further investigate if the disc is compressing any of the surrounding spinal nerves. Fortunately, the majority of disc bulges can be managed without surgery or invasive techniques.

Conservative treatment of disc bulges involves reducing inflammation at the site of the bulge, correcting movement/range of motion restrictions, and strengthening the stabilising muscles of the spine.

You can also check out or blog article "I Have a Disc Herniation – What Does it Mean? How is it Treated?" for further information.

Disc herniations are one of the most common conditions treated by chiropractors, and our team can help you through your recovery so you can return to doing the things you enjoy.