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Bulging discs, herniated discs, and protruding discs, as well as a number of other terms, are often wrongly interchanged by laymen and medical professionals alike. Because of this, there is often much confusion over your symptoms, causes, treatments, and other important factors.
The following information, from the North American Spine Society, American Society of Spine Radiology, and the American Society of Neuroradiology, can help you gain valuable insights into what you are facing.
“Bulging disc” is purely descriptive. The term should not be used in a diagnostic term.
The diagram shows a top down view of a disc. The outer ring beyond the black outline represents a disc that is symmetrically bulging, which is very rarely seen in CT or MRI scans.
For this reason, most often what is actually occurring is a herniation of the disc as seen in the two images below.
Both broad-based herniation and focal herniations are more commonly found on imaging reports. These terms refer to the amount of herniation that has occurred.
Broad-based herniation involves 25% to 50% of the total circumference of the disc, while focal herniation is more “focused” and typically involves less than 25% of the circumference.
These two categories are further broken down based on the shape and form of the herniation, such as illustrated below:
No matter what type of herniation you are facing, the cause of pain is almost always the disc material pressing on nerves in the central spinal canal. Thus, getting to the “root” of the problem is quite literally about looking into the nerve roots. Serious pain, numbness, or abnormal weakness or sensations can be caused by this protrusion or extrusion.
Injury or accident can cause hurt to the annulus fibrosis in the disc. Because the annulus fibrosis has nerves running through it, when the center of the disc is herniated and migrates through the weakened nerves, you can face pain.
Internal disc disruption is difficult to see on imaging like MRI and CT scans. However, this condition is still considered to be an early stage of herniation. This is why treatment is so important. A non-surgical approach from our Bolingbrook rehabilitation institute can allow fluid, blood, and nutrients to start healing the damage.
The side diagram below shows the damage and herniation of a disc between vertebrae.
ProMED Pain Rehabilitation Institute’s s exclusive non-surgical treatment approach can be very effective in treating difficult disc disorders. We have combined a safe, unique collection of some of the most advanced spine technology and protocols available at any clinic in the area.
Contact our Non-Surgical Spine Center today at (630) 426-3270 to see if you qualify for our innovative approach to non-surgical treatment for bulging disc pain. We serve patients throughout the Chicago area.