Types of Spinal Disc Problems

If you’ve had a spinal disc problem, you know how painful it can be. Every movement seems to hurt, and it can feel like you’ll never be back to your old self.

That pain is the body’s way of signalling you to “Pay Attention Inside Now” — it’s a warning sign from your body. It’s your body’s way of letting you know it’s been pushed past its limits. However, with the proper care and a little time, you can get your life back.

Disc bulge in your back

The most common type of spinal disc problem is called a bulge or herniation, and these injuries most commonly occur between 45-65 years of old when your discs have become a bit dehydrated and stiffer.

A disc bulge or herniation occurs when a disc’s inner portion is trying to (or has) pushed through its tough outer layer.

When this happens, it can cause pain in two different ways.

  • If the disc bulges far enough to press on a spinal nerve, you may notice pain that travels down your legs.
  • If the inside of your disc pushes through the outer layer, it could also cause severe inflammation resulting in pain.


illustration showing lumbar vertebra with intervertebral disc bulge

Sometimes the disc wall develops small internal cracks which cause ongoing pain and inflammation without a full disc herniation. This can be treated too with the right approach. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to help yourself.

Effective treatment for spinal disc bulges

The good news is that your spine is incredibly resilient.

Research has proven that movement-based care, such as spinal adjustments and flexion- distraction, a specialty here at Sundial, and spinal rehab, are incredibly effective at helping you heal from spinal disc injuries. In fact, exercises that “centralise” your spinal disc may be able to prevent future episodes of sciatica.

If you have spinal pain or pain that travels down your arm or leg, let us know. Our practice focuses on using the latest research-based treatments to help you heal, improve, and regain your quality of life.

Science Sources:

Bulging Disc vs. Herniated Disc: What’s the Difference? Mayo Clinic. 2019.

Exercise for Sciatica from a Herniated Disc. Spine-Health. 2019.