Bulging Disc Relief

Bulging Discs cause pain when they undergo changes in their shape and structural integrity. Unlike herniated discs, bulging discs have not broken through their outer shell-like casing.


Good news! We are the Bulging Disc Experts. If you think you have bulging disc, let’s talk.


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What Is Bulging Disc?

Bulging Disc



A bulging disc results when an intervertebral disc, which serves as a cushion between the vertebrae, loses its typical shape and compresses a spinal nerve.

Bulging Disc Basics

Bulging Disc Symptoms. Pain, numbness, fatigue, spasms, compromised movement
Bulging Disc Causes. Wear-and-tear, injury
Bulging Disc Treatments . Decompression, stabilization/fusion, injection
Recovery Rate. High

How is Bulging Disc Treated?

Bulging Disc treatment depends on you – your specific physiology and how advanced your case is. The North American Spine medical team and your physician will thoroughly evaluate your situation and recommend a treatment plan to provide both maximum relief and minimum recovery time. Treatment plants are grouped into three categories:


Fusion or Stabilization


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Symptoms of Bulging Disc

In most cases, bulging discs appear at the rear and side portions of the affected disc, and can put abnormal pressure on the nerve below the disc, causing a range of pain types. In severe cases, you may experience heaviness in your legs and/or difficulty walking. More common symptoms are:


Common symptoms of Bulging Disc include:

  • In the lumbar spine: pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet
  • In the cervical spine: pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness in the neck, arms, hands, and sometimes in the head
  • In the thoracic spine (less common): pain in the upper back, radiating through the stomach or chest, which patients often confuse for cardiovascular problems


Prior to having a surgical procedure to treat your bulging discs, conservative measures such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and steroid injections should be attempted. If these measures do not meaningfully relieve your pain, a North American Spine procedure may be in order.

Causes of Bulging Disc

Bulging discs occur when pressure on a spinal disc damages or breaks down the once healthy disc, causing it to compress or change its normal shape. Potential causes of this pressure include:


Additional common Bulging Disc causes include:

  • Age-related wear and tear, which can lead to Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Back or neck strain due to repetitive physical activity, poor posture, imbalances in the musculature, or heavy lifting
  • Direct physical injury such as a car accident or fall
  • Genetics, whether or not the symptoms appeared in your parents


In some cases, damage only affects the inner layers of the disc’s outer covering and leaves the inside of the disc intact—this describes a bulging disc. In other cases, the outside of the disc tears and the disc’s inner gel-like substance leaks out into the surrounding spaces in the spinal column—this describes a herniated disc.

Treatments and Procedures for Bulging Disc

Treatment and procedure options for Bulging Disc range from conservative options like injections to more intensive procedures like spinal fusions.


Conservative Options


Conservative treatment options include nerve root blocks and steroid injections. These are designed to provide temporary relief (up to one year), and you may elect to have the procedure done multiple times. Other conservative strategies may include the placement of a spinal cord stimulator–or STIM–which is designed not to correct the underlying degeneration, but to lessen the pain the condition causes.




Decompression–including North American Spine’s unique IntelliSpine™ procedure–may be used for cases in which the structural integrity of the vertebrae or spinal cord is not threatened. These procedures concentrate on freeing entrapped nerves, typically be enlarging the space through which nerves pass. Depending on the demands of the procedure and your unique physiology, a special surgical laser may be used.




Fusion, also called stabilization, procedures may be used when the stability of the spine or vertebrae are compromised or threatened. In some of these cases, more than one harmful condition may exist. While these procedures are minimally invasive and enjoy a high success rate, some patients may be required to stay overnight for observation.