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Bulging Disc/Herniated Disc/Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease is a somewhat natural process whereby aging has the discs of the back undergo slow wear and tear. The discs are a fibrocartilagenous cushion which acts like a shock absorber to protect the spine, vertebrae and brain. Other terms associated with Degenerative Disc Disease are:

  • Spondylosis is degenerative changes in the facet joint and eventual ankylosing (or fused) of the joint capsules
  • Slipped Discs is a lay term for disc herniation
  • Lumbago is a general non-specific term for low back pain
  • Sciatica is a compression of the sciatic nerve or inflammation. Can occur from disc herniation or piriformis syndrome

Bulging discs usually occur before an injury which can lead to protruding discs. Pressure on the intervertebral discs can increase by up to 50% just from laughing. Lifting 20 kilograms with knees straight and back flexed increases pressures on the disc by 170%. These two examples just show how much our discs in our back have to undergo.

Herniated disc is a damaged or bulging disc. Causes of bulging discs/herniated disc/or Degenerative Disc Disease are:

  • Wear and tear on your disc. As you age the discs in your back lose their elasticity and slowly dry out becoming less flexible
  • Injury to the spine may cause tiny tears or cracks in the hard outer layer of the disc. When this occurs the thick gelatinous inner fluid of the disc can seep out causing the disc to bulge or break open

When the disc bulges or herniates the disc may press on your nerve roots causing pain, numbness and weakness in the area of the body where the nerve travels

Treatment of a herniated disc/bulging disc/Degenerative Disc Disease

  • Reduce signs and symptoms of the conditions, reducing pain and muscle spasm around the disc
  • Reducing swelling and inflammation around the herniated disc
  • Some stretching and strengthening exercises may be recommended to stabilize and support the back while you are healing
  • A compressed disc may require Spinal decompression to reduce pain and discomfort that this condition creates

If you have any questions about herniated discs/bulging discs or degenerative disc disease contact our staff at Dynamic Physiotherapy.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Bulging Disc

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