All You Need to Kow about a Bulging Disc
This section of our website is prepared to help our patients understand what a Disc Bulge is, how we repair it. However, we will start with basic information about a disc before we start our discussion on how we fix a disk bulge (disc bulge). So, please bear with us. The vertebral disc is a soft but sturdy pad separating the vertebra (bones of the spine) from one another. They are highly specialized structures that act as shock absorbers and connectors of our spinal bones. Therefore, a spinal disc serves:
- A ligament by holding the spinal bones together
- As a pivotal point allowing motion
- Part our body’s shock absorbing mechanisms, which takes stresses away from the spinal joints
Each spinal bone except the first has a vertebral disc (spinal disc) attached to it. Spinal discs found at each segment, in the following manner: Spinal discs are between all spinal bones, except when it comes to C1 and C2; the first two bones under the base of the skull. In the following manner:
- Six discs in the cervical spine (neck)
- Twelve discs in the thoracic spine (upper and mid back)
- Five discs in the lumbar spine (lower back)
About 25% of the spine’s length comes from the 23 vertebral discs. In other words, vertebral discs of an average person collectively form 18cm of the spine’s length. A Noteworthy point: discs are progressively larger from the neck down:
- Six (6) spinal discs in the neck (cervical)
- Twelve (12) spinal discs in the middle back (thoracic)
- And only Five (5) spinal discs in the lower back (lumbar)
Each of the 23 discs consisting of three main components:
- Annulus Fibrosus: Is the firm cartilage-like outer structure that attaches the disc to the vertebral end-plate
- Nucleus Pulposus: The Nucleus is the “gel-like” center of the disc, mainly made of water
- Vertebral endplates: Are the anchors of spinal discs, connecting the annulus and nucleus to spinal bones (vertebrae)
What is a Bulging Disc?
The simplest definition of a Disc Bulge is a disc that has swelled. But, not to the point where the fibers contact the Thecal Sac (a membranous protective sheet). The thecal sac is the protective tunnel-like housing that surrounds the spinal cord. However, in recent times disc bulge is being incorrectly used to define milder forms of a slipped disc. So, nowadays a disc bulge is a synonym for a slipped disc (disc herniation/protrusion). Unfortunately, even some doctors are guilty of using the wrong term. Perhaps it has to do with simplicity or to ease a patient’s understanding of their condition.
Disc Bulge occurs in the cervical, thoracic, and the lumbar spine. It happens when the supporting outer fibers of a disc (annulus fibrosis) lose their inherent strength and succumb to the stresses of daily activities, leading to buckling of these fibers. The medical term for this weakening leading to a buckling of the annulus fibrosis is called a “Bulging disc” also known as a “disc bulge” or a “Slip Disc” (slipped disc). A disc bulge that fiber buckle excessively (to a point where they contact nearby tissues) is medically known as a herniated disc protruded or prolapsed disc (terms denoting a slipped disc).
The Annulus Fibrosus better as the annular fiber or the annular ligament is the primary fibrous connective tissue in the spinal disc. The Annulus fibrosus the anchoring mechanism that attaches a disc to the vertebrae. It protects and contains the highly pressurized nucleus pulposus (the heart and workhorse of the spinal disc) in the center. These fibrous ligaments are layered successively in a ‘ring-like’ fashion. And it is this layered structure that gives the Annuls its tremendous strength.
How Many Annular Fibers in a Spinal Disc?
Each disc contains anywhere from 15 to 25 successive ring sheets, arranged one inside the other, called the Lamellae. The lamellae are bound and held together by the Elastin fibers, a protein chain containing proteoglycans. The Elastin fibers lie between the lamellae, giving the annular fiber strength and helping the discal tissue return to its original arrangement following bending, whether it flexion or extension movements. So, when the disc fails to get the required amount of nutrients, it can bulge and succumb to degenerative changes and even pain. But, yet many with disc bulge can go on without even knowing of the damage deep within their spine. Thus, so few will have mild pain, while others have no pain.
But, keep in mind that having no pain is not a sign of good health. Many diseases have little to no pain, until end stages. For example, cancer, HIV, diabetes, and heart disease are all condition that is painless at onset. In other words, these are those that end with a severe disc without any evident history of trauma. So, it is helpful to check minor aches or pains before it bogs you down.
Annulus Fibers and Elastin Fibers
Comprehension of the complex intertwined interrelationship between the annulus fibers and elastin fibers is possible once disc nutrition needs are thoroughly understood. Therefore, we will now discuss the nutritional requirements of a spinal disc.
The vertebral discs are avascular structure. For the spinal disc to meet its nutritional needs, nutrients must diffuse into a disc. With these nutrients, discal cells make the precious aggrecans and the proteoglycans (building blocks). Now let’s dig in for some meat and potatoes.
For the disc to survive, it needs nutrients (water, protein, glucose, and oxygen). These nutrients are ONLY available through the process of diffusion (sucked in). So, nutrients must be “sucked in.” Once the nutrients are sucked in, they are used to synthesize the proteoglycans as well as the larger Aggrecan molecules. The proteoglycans are like sponges; they can hold lots of water. In fact, the proteoglycans are the molecules that suck the nutrients into a disc. So, they suck in the nutrients a vertebral disc needs to make proteoglycans. Yes, it is the classic case of a catch 22. Once the nutrients are in, the cells of the disc get busy and manufacture lots of proteoglycans. Disc cells use nutrients and the newly formed proteoglycans for rebuilding and replenishing the existing proteoglycans. The proteoglycan molecules a vertebral disc manufacturer helps it stay healthy and repair damages following an injured.
Proteoglycans and the Spinal Disc
Proteoglycans are the main ingredients of the Annulus and Elastin fibers. With depleting supplies or decreased diffusion of nutrients the annulus and elastin fibers degenerate. Disc health is all about having proper nutrients flow. Once the nutrients are in, the cells of the disc get busy and manufacture lots of proteoglycans. Disc cells use nutrients and the formed proteoglycans for rebuilding and replenishing proteoglycan needs of a disc. The annulus and elastin fibers are dependent on proteoglycans. Therefore, a deficiency in proteoglycans always leads to annular and elastin fiber damage. These injuries in the initial stages can result in a bugle. If neglected, it leads to a full-blown slipped disc. Therefore, it is critical that you fix small disc issues before they become dangerous. A disc bulge is treatable when caught and treated early. So, give us a call and get started with your disc bulge treatments today.
Incidentally, when we treat patients with a “Slip Disc” (slipped disc) our goal during his or her therapy is to increase the blood flow to these structures. Our centers are the ONLY centers in Malaysia to have the Technology needed (NSD Therapy®) for this task. Thus, we get results when others fail. Now, let’s get back to learning more about the disc.
Disc Excessive Stress and Disc Damage
When a disc is under excessive stress, it readily loses fluids, nutrient, and even proteoglycans. At times the rate of diffusion inwards is greatly surpassed by the speed of diffusion outwards. This loss translates to the disc’s inability in forming sufficient quantities of proteoglycans. Consequently, leading to a diminished formation of the aggrecans or elastin fibers and eventual wears and tears. Resulting in a weak disc, unable to withstand the stresses of daily activities. A continued inability in the synthesis of proteoglycans initiates the degenerative disc cycle.
Degenerated Disc: A Leading Cause of a Bulged Spinal Disc
A non-degenerate, healthy adult vertebral disc is a stable structure, capable of carrying the heaviest of bodies. And the opposite goes for a degenerated disc. In a degenerated disc, the annulus fibers are not as resilient when compared to a healthy spinal disc. Leading cause of disc degeneration is a deficiency of the required nutrients. The continued loss of the proteoglycan molecule has a detrimental effect on the binding substance of the annulus fibers (elastin fibers). The long-term outlook of degenerated discs is one of continued weakness that ultimately succumbs to the stresses, leading to bulging or herniations; a condition more commonly known by its layman‘s term of “Slipped Disc” or “Slip Disc.”
Now let’s see what researchers say. According to Drs. Urban and Roberts (world renowned orthopedic surgeons): a healthy spinal disc does not bulge as quickly as previously believed. In fact, some degenerative changes are necessary before a disc can bulge or herniate (slip disc or slipped disc). Drs. Lyons, Eisenstein, and Sweet state that the most significant biochemical change to occur in disc degeneration are the loss of proteoglycans.
Degenerative Disc Disease is an Illness in Need of Appropriate Care
It is not just Drs. Urban and Roberts who realize that there has to be degenerative changes in disc bulges or herniates through. Medical researchers throughout the world agree that a degenerated disc is an unhealthy spinal disc. In other words, degenerative disc disease is an illness and not a so-called “normal findings.” Doctors and surgeons, who advise their patients of the normality of degenerative disc disease, do so incorrectly. These are those that have lagged behind on latest developments in medical research. So, take their advice with a grain of salt.
Degenerative disc disease is an illness from which other more dangerous conditions emerge. The sooner this disorder is dealt with, the better you are. In fact, most presenters are now reporting degenerative disc disease as a source of pain. So, heed our advice, take care of your spine and should you have any degenerative changes, let us help you. Neglect and ignoring of small issues only lead to bigger problems such as a disc bulge or disc herniation down the line.
Neglected Degenerative Disc Disease is the Leading Cause of Bulging Intervertebral Disc or Disc Herniation
A disc bulge is the beginning stage of a more serious condition such as a herniated (slipped disc or slip disc) disc. A disc herniation occurs when these buckling fibers (bulging) tear and disc material is in direct contact, compressing or irritating the delicate fibers of the spinal nerve or the spinal cord. Unfortunately, many with a disc bulge ignore the pain. Some wait until they are unable to walk or in severe pain. However, our clinical team encouraged you to visit us before the damage progresses. We can fix a disc bulge. But, you will have to take the first step, by contacting us. Our centers have the best clinical chiropractors in Malaysia; best of all our advanced spinal technology is specifically geared towards fixing and repairing a disc bulge without the spine surgery.
A disc bulge may present with co-conditions such as Modic Type I, Modic Type II or III changes. Most centers that treat disc bulge in Malaysia have a poor understanding of Modic changes. If you have a bulging spinal disc, you need thorough assessments and targeted treatments of the bulging disc and any co-conditions present. So, opt for care at Chiropractic Specialty Center®. Our technology, knowledge, and skills are superior to others. Call us today; we can help.
Annular Tears and Bulges in Spinal Discs
In a disc bulge, there is no tearing of the annular fibers and no migration of the nucleus. Although asymptomatic in early stages, a disc bulge can produce pain. The buckling fibers may irritate the Sinuvertebral Nerve. The Sinuvertebral Nerve is a nociceptive (specialized nerves that sense pain) nerve located in-between the outer layers of the annulus fibrosis. Often, this type of pain, along with the pain caused by Degenerative Disc Disease, is referred to as a “discogenic pain” (pain arising from the disc). Although a bulge (early Slip disc or slipped disc) can be asymptomatic (causing no pain), it still is considered a health problem and should not be ignored. Neglect and improper therapy can accelerate the damage and predisposes a disc to a more severe and acutely painful condition such as a slipped (slip) disc (medically known as a disc herniation).
Many therapeutic procedures have come and gone, some helpful while others made things worse. To date, non-surgical decompression therapy is the best non-operative option for disc bulges or herniations (slip-disk or slipped disc). In other words, other forms of non-operative treatments will not repair without spinal decompression therapy.
RxDecom® Treatments for Spinal Disc Disorder
In 2007, our centers became the first in Malaysia to offer spinal decompression therapy. Since then, we have improved spinal decompression therapy in Malaysia with the RxDecom®.
RxDecom® provides the Most Advanced form of Spinal Decompression Therapy in Malaysia. It is superior to other forms of spinal decompression therapy as evident through our clinical success in treatments of challenging disc bulge and slipped disc cases. Chiropractic Specialty Center® in Kuala Lumpur was the first center to offer NSD Therapy®. NSD Therapy® is a specific non-surgical means of repairing spinal disc damage without injections or surgery. Our slip-disc treatment for the non-surgical repair and reversal of bulging discs, herniated discs, and extruded discs are second to none in Malaysia.
Furthermore, we enhanced spinal decompression by combining it with Clinical Physiotherapy as-well-as treatments from through best methods of Chiropractic in Malaysia. Today, our patients recover faster and better when compared to others. Best of all our methods of care is 100% non-surgical. Some with disc bulge are encouraged to have spine surgery. our advice for those who think about getting spine surgery is to contact us first for a second opinion. Spine surgery is nonreversible and a surgical failure can have far-reaching consequences. We have the proof through a pre and post-therapy MRI. We have documented many cases by serial MRIs: showing a significant reduction in disc herniations, bulges, and even disc degeneration. And all this is made possible by our technology and methods that render: spinal decompression therapy.
Traction is Not Spinal Decompression
But, yet many peddle their traction machines as a real “Spinal Decompression Units.”
This far-fetched lie was distributed for monetary gains. To date, no research has proven the effectiveness of traction on a disc herniation (slip disc or slipped disc). At the time of writing of this article, Chiropractic Specialty Center is the ONLY where you can get treated by true spinal decompression therapy device. Best of all, our methods are better through the NSD Therapy®.
So, don’t get fooled by typical traction devices that do little than “Yank” on you. Keep in mind that traction therapy devices are not alike. Some are better; the best one is DTS traction. Yes, the DTS is better than the typical traction device but not as good as the RxDecom®. The RxDecom® is superior because the DTS system of treatment is through traction therapy and spinal decompression. Spinal decompression devices are superior to the typical traction and even better than the DTS traction system. The RxDecom® is the best of spinal decompression therapy devices. In our centers, we use both the DTS systems and the RxDecom®. our clinical successes with the RxDecom® is better than the DTS systems. Visit one of our centers to learn more about DTS traction and RxDecom®: Spinal Decompression Therapy.
So, don’t get fooled by the typical traction devices that do little than “Yank” on you. Also, don’t live with the pain. Ignoring your condition will only make matters worse. Therefore, call one of our centers and get the relief you need today. The Chiropractors and Physiotherapists of Chiropractic Specialty Center have the expertise and technology to reverse and even fix a disc bulge and disc herniation (slipped disc). Help is just a phone call away. So, call us now, we can help.
NSD Therapy® is the evolution of Spinal Decompression Therapy.
NSD Therapy has increased the success rate in the non-surgical treatment of slip disc (slipped disc). Chiropractic Specialty Centers offer NSD Therapy through a unique system of collaborative care that is far more effective when compared to any other center or clinic. NSD Therapy is rendered through the efforts of our chiropractors and physiotherapists. So, the care you get is through non-operative spine experts with advanced technology.
This form of rehabilitative therapy increases the rate of inward diffusion of nutrients even in the presence of a degenerated disc. An increase in nutrients leads to an increase in the production of disc cells that repair the degenerated and damaged discal tissue. According to medical research, Decompression therapy is 86% effective in treatments of sciatica, Posterior Facet Syndrome, Degenerative disc, bulging disc and herniated disc. However, our success is higher than that of the published research. Perhaps it is because of our collaborative systems of combined treatments with Spinal Decompression Therapy. We are proud to inform all that our success with slipped disc patients is better than 95%. We succeeded when others fail.
Our centers have been at the forefront of non-surgical spine care for more than ten years.
We have brought in World-Class technology that others do not have. We attribute our success rate to our team, our system, our training and our union of since and technology in a manner never performed before. Thus, so our research-based clinical chiropractors have the knowledge and skills fix and repair a bulging disc without drugs or spine surgery. So, call contact us now.
If you are suffering from intense back pain, sciatica, spondylosis or slipped disc (slip disc). Call us we can help. We succeed when others fail. Our clinical team welcomes difficult and challenging condition and have treated many severe and even some so-called “impossible” conditions with great success. We hope to do the same for you.