The Difference Between a Disc Bulge & Disc Hernia

Some people suffer pain in their necks, backs, and legs due to disc bulges and herniated discs. Both of these conditions commonly result after a PA or NJ auto accident or a fall due to the impact your body sustains, explains Bucks County personal injury lawyer Michael L. Saile, Jr. Many sufferers, however, are confused about the difference between a disc bulge and a herniated disc. It is important if you are suffering pain in your neck, back, or limbs that you receive:

  • Proper Diagnosis,
  • Full understanding of your condition, and
  • Treatment.

An Explanation of Spinal Discs

The human spine runs from the neck down to the bottom of the back. Discs lie between the vertebrae in your spine and act as cushions. Discs are made of an outer layer of cartilage that surrounds a softer cartilage in the center.  The discs are tough, but flexible.

A bulging disc is when the disc literally bulges outside its usual space, but does not break open.  A bulging disc may be left pressing on a spinal nerve, which may cause you to feel pain and/or tingling in places other than your back, such as your legs, buttocks, shoulders, and arms.

A herniated disc is when the disc actually breaks and the jelly-like material contained within leaks out. If the inside material leaks into the spinal canal and makes contact with nerve roots, this alone can cause great pain. Additionally, because the gel-like material contains a chemical that can irritate the nerves, your nerves may swell, which is yet another source of pain.

Once Diagnosed, Is Treatment Available?

An MRI or x-ray will be necessary to diagnose your specific injury, allow your doctor to view the exact placement of your disc injury, and provide your doctor with a view of the severity of the disc damage.  After these facts have been establised, doctors commonly recommend the following course of treatment with the goal of reducing pain, numbness and/or weakness in the back and limbs:

  • Rest,
  • Medicine to control pain and inflammation,
  • Become informed about how to move and how not to move, and practice exercises that strengthen the muscles that support your lower back, both of which may be accomplished with the help of a physical therapist,
  • Pain management sessions,
  • Surgery – generally reserved for those suffering with a herniated disc that has resulted in nerve damage.

Remember that every medical situation is different, so please do not assume that any of the above-listed remedies would be prescribed for you.  Only your doctor can prescribe the best treatment for you.

If you or someone you know is experiencing pain from a bulging disc or herniated disc due to an automobile accident contact the PA car accident lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC. We can help answer legal questions pertaining to your case. Call 215-642-2335. Also if you would like more information on auto accidents, downalod ur FREE book here.