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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Bulging Disc: Part 1 - What Is A Bulging Disc?

Posted by Illinois Back Institute on Fri, Aug 14, 2015 @ 05:04 PM

Bulging_Disc1This is Part 1 in a series about Bulging Discs! The goal of this series is to help explain what Bulging Discs are, what causes them, what their symptoms are, how we treat them, and more. This series will also provide some scientific studies about our treatment and show how it is so effective in eliminating Bulging Discs in any part of the spine.

The Bulging Disc, sometimes referred to as a disc protrusion or slipped disc, is one of the most common causes of back pain. This is because when a person begins to have a breakdown in one of their discs for whatever reason, a bulging of the disc is usually the first phase of that breakdown. Most people have heard of the various terms used to refer to a Bulging Disc, but many don't really know or understand what it is. It is important for any kind of back pain to know the source of that pain. The reason for this series is to educate everyone as much as possible about Bulging Discs; because it has always been our belief, which has been scientifically proven, that the more a patient understands about the source of their pain, the better the outcome of their treatment will be.

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So what is a Bulging Disc?

A Bulging Disc occurs with the discs located in the spine. To really understand what a Bulging Disc is, we need to first know a little bit about what the spine is and what it does. This is because when people understand how the spine works they will be in a better position to treat it. These are some basic facts about the spine:

  • The spine is made up of bones, discs, muscles, and nerves.
  • The spine's main purpose is to protect the spinal cord. All nerves in the human body begin at the spinal cord, then exit and travel throughout the body.
  • It begins at the base of the skull and ends at the top of the buttocks, and is made up of 24 individual bones called vertebrae.
  • There is a disc in-between each of those vertebrae. These discs serve two very important purposes: to allow the vertebrae to have 360 degree range of motion, and to act as cushions that absorb impact on the spine from regular daily movements.
  • The discs also seperate the vertebrae so that the nerves from the spinal cord can exit the spine. When these nerves exit the spine, they travel right next to the disc. This is important because any change inside the disc, no matter how slight or subtle, can cause a pinched nerve and lead to extreme pain.


These basic facts about the spine show just how complicated it is, so it is easy to see how when something goes wrong it can cause severe pain. When these discs become damaged in any way or begin to break down, they can often become what is called bulging. But what does that mean exactly? To know that we need to know how the discs work.

We mentioned earlier how one of the main functions of the discs in the spine is to act as cushions. In fact, they are basically little rubber shock absorbers that cushion and lessen the impact on the vertebrae in your spine when you are performing normal activities such as walking, running, or jumping. To best understand what the disc is, imagine it is like a jelly donut. The outside is a thick protective barrier called the annulus, and on the inside is a substance that is a lot like jelly that we call the nucleus. It is this substance inside the disc that provides the cushioning for your spine. When the disc begins to break down or deteriorate, the annulus on the outside can begin to push out between the vertebrae. Or in other words, it bulges out. This is what is called a Bulging Disc!

Remember, this is just the first part in our series about Bulging Discs. In Part 2 we will discuss what causes Bulging Discs!

The key to our treatment is solving the underlying cause. If you have a Bulging Disc and are suffering, we can help you. Call today to schedule a Free Consultation at 855-536-8301, or click on this link to schedule online:

Click Here For a Free Bulging Disc Consultation

Or, if you would like to attend one of our Free Educational Seminars, held at each of our clinics including our brand new one in Naperville, click here:

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Also, for those suffering with Bulging Discs, our Free Series of Top 10 Tips for Back Pain Relief can help. To sign up for them, click here:

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 The content on this web site is for information purposes only and should never be used as the basis for diagnosis or treatment. We always recommend consulting a qualified professional before embarking on any form of self treatment or rehabilitation.

All content is protected by the usual copyright laws and cannot be used, stolen or reproduced for any purpose without Illinois Back Institute permission. Please feel free to call about anything although we are unable to give advice on any specific injuries or conditions over the phone.