An elderly couple. The woman is helping the man to stand, as he is experiencing back pain that has him bending forward.

Chiropractic care is a natural healing therapy that focuses on the health of the musculoskeletal system. You have rubbery discs between your spinal bones that can sometimes rupture or slip. This causes the soft jelly-like cushion to get pushed out of place, which is known as a herniated disc. This condition can be incredibly painful, but the right therapies such as chiropractic care can help correct the disc once more.


What’s a Bulging Disc?

A bulging disc is when your spinal discs become damaged. In response to that damage from an injury or movement, they herniate, which means they push out of their place. This leaves them pushing against the spinal cord and spinal nerves. A bulging disc becomes very painful when it presses against the nerves in your spinal column, causing numbness and/or pain.


You have a series of 33 vertebrae in your back. These vertebrae bones have spinal discs that are between each other. The spinal discs are composed of two components: the nucleus pulposus and the annular fibers. Think of this structure like a jelly donut. Your nucleus pulposus is the jelly and the annular fibers are the dough. When a disc herniation happens, some of the jelly (nucleus) moves out of the dough (annular fibers) and creates problems (like pain) when it touches the nerve root.


A bulging disc can be very painful, but it often is something that actually happens over time instead of all at once. Your body will start to break down in that area of the vertebrae, usually due to some form of trauma. Your spine will lose a tiny bit of its normal curvature and overtime, degeneration and weakness happens. The disc then starts to break down and the disc material starts to bulge out. A specific motion like bending or turning can finally cause the disc material to bulge out enough that it touches the nerve root. That’s when you get chronic pain.


A man that is having severe back pain from lifting boxes wrong.

What’s a Herniated Disc?

You will hear the term “herniated disc”, when it’s actually the same thing as a bulging disc. There are many terms you may hear that all mean the same thing. Some of those are “protruding disc”, “slipped disc”, “swollen disc”, “broken disc”, etc. A herniated disc is a bulging disc, so don’t become confused by the two terms. The terms may be used depending on how much the disc material is starting to bulge out. That is when there can be differences in the two terms.


Think of a bulging disc like a hamburger that has a meat patty too big for the bun. When wear and tear on the vertebrae disc happens, the discs can dry out more and the soft cartilage then becomes hard. That can make your discs start to bulge out evenly all the way around the disc. Literally, the disc material is bulging in every direction.


With a herniated disc, that bulging may only be happening in certain areas or one area. You can start to get a crack or weak area in your vertebrae disc where the cartilage is damaged. That can cause disc material to protrude out of the disc instead of staying inside.


A shirtless patient in a medical office that is having his back examined. On the screen behind him, there is an x-ray image of a bulging disc in his back.

Chiropractic Care to Relieve Discs

Did you know that many back issues stem from misalignment of the spinal discs? This happens to the majority of people over time, even if their misalignment never leads to disc or back issues. Daily activities, sports, exercise and even bending or moving can slowly shift your spinal disc and joints out of their proper alignment. Studies show that a straight alignment is what helps the back to move effortlessly and without joint damage and cartilage breakdown. When discs and joints shift even slightly, inflammation, a buildup of fluid, nerve damage or dysfunction and chronic pain can happen. Over time, those symptoms can lead to severe back issues.


With chiropractic care, we employ a series of gentle manipulations to your back and spine. These manipulations will place you in various positions as a chiropractic doctor gently shifts vertebrae and joints back into place. It’s a specific skill that most medical professionals aren’t schooled in unless they went to a chiropractic medicine school. Chiropractic adjustments are natural, drugless and non-surgical. They can relieve pressure placed on nerves right away and proper alignment can stop the joint deterioration and fluid brought on by the body’s inflammatory response to injury. For bulging or herniated discs, these gentle manipulations can help push back nerve tissue where it’s supposed to be. Many patients feel relief from their symptoms immediately.


Relief of Your Back Pain

At Spine Correction Center of the Rockies, we take bulging and herniated disc problems very seriously. These conditions can leave you in chronic pain that make every day tasks seem impossible. No one should have to continuously live with that pain. We offer non-surgical solutions to correct both bulging or herniated discs. Without surgery, you can still continue to live normally. You can still go to work, function, be with your family and even get back to sports and exercise. Don’t wait to get help for your pain! Call Spine Correction Center of the Rockies today at (970) 658-5115 for your free consultation!