What is disc degeneration?

Disc herniation, protrusions, and extrusions occur due to damage to the spinal discs. Discs are rubbery cushions with a soft, jelly-like center surrounded by a tough exterior ring.

Disc bulges occur as a result of a process called disc degeneration. As the disc degenerates, it can no longer retain its shape and flattens. As a result, the disc “bulges” into its adjacent surroundings.

They are located between vertebral bones in your spine to protect your spine and absorb shock. A herniated, or ruptured disc can irritate and even compress nearby nerves, leading to numbness, weakness, and severe pain.

What are the symptoms of disc herniation?

The following signs and symptoms may indicate you have a herniated, degenerating, or bulging disc:

  • Leg or arm pain
  • Buttocks pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness

Disc injuries don’t always cause symptoms. The best way to diagnose a herniated disc is with spinal imaging procedures.

What are the risk factors for disc herniation?

You might experience disc herniation as a result of gradual, age-related wear-and-tear or injury. Risk factors include:

  • Older age
  • Falling down
  • Excess body weight
  • Repetitive pulling, lifting, or bending
  • Genetic factors
  • Smoking

Often the cause of a herniated disc isn’t known, but simple treatments can offer you relief.

How is disc herniation diagnosed?

To find out if you have disc herniation, Dr. Le or Dr. Morgan completes a thorough physical exam and comprehensive verbal history about your symptoms and medical history. They also use X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, myelograms, or nerve tests to diagnose your condition and develop a treatment plan.

How is disc herniation treated?

If you have a herniated disc and pain associated with it, the Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center, Inc. team might recommend:

Spinal Manipulations

Spinal manipulations can realign your spine and relieve nerve pressure associated with disc herniation.


Physiotherapy exercises and stretches can reduce nerve pain associated with a bulging disc, strengthen surrounding tissues, and alleviate chronic discomfort.

Massage and Myofascial release

Massage reduces muscle tension and manipulates tissues to alleviate pressure on pinched nerves.


Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to promote tissue healing and pain relief naturally without surgery or downtime.

Spinal decompression

The team specializes in nonsurgical spinal decompression using advanced DRX 9000™ technology for nerve pain relief.

Epidural injections

In severe cases when inflammation is inhibiting the healing process, Dr. Le or Dr. Morgan may recommend steroid injections. Steroid injections can reduce inflammation and discomfort associated with spondylolisthesis.

Don’t live with pain associated with disc herniation, degeneration, and bulges when simple noninvasive solutions are within reach at Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center, Inc. For more information about disc herniation, degeneration, and bulges read our article. Book your next appointment by phone or online today.