Discs act as cushions between the bones in your spine.
They are made up of an outer layer of tough cartilage and softer cartilage in the center.
Discs show signs of wear and tear as you age.
Over time, discs lose water and their cartilage stiffens.
This kind of change can cause the outer layer of the disc to bulge out.
With disc bulges, only the outer layer of tough cartilage is involved.
A bulging disc may affect a quarter of the disc or the entire perimeter.
However, a herniated disc results when a crack in the outer layer of cartilage causes the softer cartilage to protrude out of the disc.
Herniated discs can also be called ruptured discs or slipped discs.
Compared with a bulging disc, a herniated disc is more likely to cause pain.
Herniated discs protrude farther and are more likely to irritate nerve roots.
The irritation can be from compression of the nerve or inflammation of the nerve root.
Watch our video with Dr. Ryan to learn more about symptoms, causes, risk factors, and prevention!
If you would like more information on lower back pain and disc herniations, schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Ryan by clicking the link below!