Do I Have a Herniated Disc?

By Dr. Ryan Lee

With all the stresses and demands of our modern culture, back pain should be listed as a common side affect.

We sit too much, look down at our phones and computers, and stress more than any previous generation.

All of this leads to muscle tension, spinal misalignments, and bad posture – all of which cause, you guessed it, BACK PAIN!

But how can you know if the back pain you’re experiencing is from a herniated disc or something else?

A herniated (also called a bulged or slipped) disc is a term used to describe what happens when the cushion between the vertebrae of your spine (or intervertebral disc) has been damaged and is now bulging into the neighboring spinal nerve root.

See the picture below for reference.

Nerves are very delicate and do not like to be touched!

When the disc bulges into the nerve you will experience a very sharp and sometimes debilitating sensation at the level of the disc herniation.

Some common symptoms/pains of a slipped or bulged disc are:

  • Experiencing a very sharp and intense pain when straining to lift something or leaning from one side to the other.
  • Getting a flair up of pain at the level of the disc bulge when you sneeze or cough.

If you experience a similar pain as described above, it is time to make an appointment with a healthcare professional.

So, what causes a herniated or bulged disc?

We get bulged discs when constant and un-even pressure is applied from the bones of our spine (vertebrae) causing one side to become strained.

This un-even pressure can be caused by a number of different things, including:

  • Trauma
  • Repetitive Stress – from a job or sport
  • Poor Posture

Over time, this stress causes the disc to bulge out and even rupture, creating a disc herniation.

Are there any solutions besides surgery?


If you have looked into common treatments for herniated discs, you’ve no doubt seen that surgery is the most common solution.

What you’ve also probably noticed is that the most common surgery performed is called a discectomy, where the portion of the disc that is causing the pressure on your nerve root is removed. And in some cases, the entire disc is removed.

There has to be a better way, one that doesn’t involve cutting apart your existing bone cushion.

And there is!

Chiropractic care is a great, holistic way to both treat your current disc injuries and can help prevent them from happening in the future.

Chiropractic adjustments treat the causes rather than just the symptoms of your pain.

Adjustments work to put the vertebra in your spine back into alignment, taking pressure off the nerve and reducing the un-even load on the disc, allowing the body to repair the bulged disc itself. No disc cutting required!

I have treated many patients with these symptoms and have seen fantastic results!

To hear more about herniated discs and how chiropractic care can help, watch the video below!

If you’re tired of back pain or want to prevent further pain, give us a call at (423)-498-3400 today and let us help you get back to what you need and love to do!

Schedule Now!

Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic is located in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area specifically in Collegedale, TN, a short distance from Ooltewah, Cleveland, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Ringgold, Apison, and Harrison.


Dr. Ryan Lee is the practicing chiropractic physician at Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic. For his full bio, click here.

*This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Ryan Lee and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Lee does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

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