bulging vs herniated disc

Bulging Vs. Herniated Disc: Basics of Each

There are a number of injuries that may arise as a result of a car accident or other impacts, and some of these relate to the discs in your spine. Two such injuries that are relatively well-known and compared, but which it’s vital to be aware are not the same thing, are herniated discs and bulging discs.

At Peterson Chiropractic, we’re here to offer the very best auto accident chiropractor services in Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah, treating everything from whiplash to many other issues that may arise after a vehicle collision. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over how the discs in your spine work, the basics on herniated and bulging discs, and how chiropractic care may be quite beneficial here if you’re dealing with either of these issues.

The Role of Discs in the Spine

For those unaware, the discs in your spine serve as a form of cushioning that sit between the various vertebrae in your spine. These discs are largely composed of a tough outer shell that holds in a gel-like center, and when working correctly, they help to create smooth movement while also absorbing shock from movements like running or jumping.

When there is an issue with one of these discs as a result of something like a car accident, this can lead to a number of issues that may be quite painful and difficult to deal with. Let’s now go over the basics on herniated discs and bulging discs and how they differ from each other.

Basics on Bulging Discs

When the outer shell layer of cartilage becomes compressed and begins to flatten out the disc itself, this is known as a bulging disc. This can often cause pain as it will press into the nerve roots and other soft tissue in the area, but in some cases there may not be any immediate symptoms that you’ll notice.

With bulging discs, it’s possible for just part of the disc to be impacted – or for the whole disc to be affected, so it’s essential to get a proper diagnosis from your auto accident chiropractor if you’re dealing with any type of chronic pain after an impact.

Basics on Herniated Discs

When the outer shell layer of cartilage becomes weak, this can lead to a tear in the disc that allows the gel-like material in the center to protrude out. This is known as herniated disc, and it can cause a number of issues such as sciatica or other types of radiating pain down the leg.

Herniated discs also tend to be much more serious than bulging discs, as they can press into nerves and cause numbness, tingling, or other symptoms. Treatment here will depend on the severity of the herniation, and a chiropractor may be able to help in some cases by using manual manipulation techniques to reduce stress around the disc itself.

In part two of our blog series, we’ll go over how auto accident chiropractor services can help if you’re dealing with either bulging or herniated discs. For more on any of our auto accident treatments or other chiropractic services, speak to our team at Peterson Chiropractic today.

Peterson Chiropractic is led by Doctor Bradley Peterson, who grew up in Davis County and attended the University of Utah.