top of page

Disc Bulge? Or, Herniation?

I have many patients after an auto accident use terms to describe their past health history. They will say, " I have a disc herniation." or, "My doctor told me I have stenosis." , " I have a bulging disc." Well, what is it? Can you have all of it?

The spinal discs are the spacers between the bones in your spine. The purpose of the disc to to maintain the opening where the disc exits your spinal cord. The best way to describe to my patients what is going on with the disc, I give them the visual of the jelly doughnut. The jelly doughnut, when squeezed, will have the jelly start to exit the hole where the baker injected the jelly into the doughnut. If the jelly is the spinal disc, and the jelly comes in contact with the nerve, you will experience symptoms. Some of those symptoms are numbness and tingling in the arms, hands, legs or feet depending on where the disc is bulging. If you squeeze the jelly doughnut hard enough, the jelly will completely exit the hole. If the jelly is the disc, what happens now is the internal disc material is no longer contained within it. Now it is outside the confines of the disc and can give some severe and/or strange symptoms. Besides the numbness and tingling in the arms or legs, people may experience muscle weakness, decreased reflexes, wasting of muscles, headaches, etc. When the disc material is outside the disc it gets less likely that you will be able to treat this without surgical intervention. Spinal stenosis on the other hand, means a shrinking hole. If you have arthritis, a disc bulge and other compromises to where the nerve exits the spine, you will have obstruction of the opening causing compression of the nerve. So, disc bulges and herniations can cause spinal stenosis. Disc bulges means that the disc material inside is still contained while a disc herniation has the inside material completely outside the disc.

Sometimes when people are involved in a car accident and the have a disc bulge, it can progress to a disc herniation because of the accident. Pre-existing condition does not mean that the patient cannot get treated and compensated for injuries, but they will experience more damage at less impact. It is important to go to a trauma trained chiropractor for treatment that has experience in handling these conditions. Many chiropractors can treat this, but unless you know how to correctly diagnosis, prognose and treat these injuries, insurance companies will balk at compensating the patient for their injuries. You need to choose someone who is qualified to do so. You can see my qualifications here:

If you have bee injured in an auto accident and are experiencing spinal stenosis, disc bulges or disc herniations and live in the Chicagoland area like: Elmhurst, Villa Park, Lombard, Bensenville, Oakbrook, Stone Park, Melrose Park, Northlake, Berkeley, Bellwood and Westchester, call Auto Accident Pain Relief Center of Illinois 24/7 at 800-862-5914.

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page