What are the differences between Bulging, Herniated and Prolapsed Discs?

1.Bulging Disc: 

A bulging disc is a condition in which the nucleus (inner portion) of a spinal disc remains contained within the annulus fibrosus (outer portion), unlike a herniated disc in which the nucleus leaks out of the disc.

Symptoms include:

  • Numbness
  • Weakness,
  • Tingling
  • Muscle spasms or cramping,

These will depend on the region of the spine where nerve compression occurred

 2. Herniated Disc: herniated disc is a condition in which the annulus fibrosus (outer portion) of the vertebral disc is torn, enabling the nucleus (inner portion) to herniate or extrude through the fibers. Usually occurs at the sides of back and is a partial crack.

Symptoms include:

  • pain and numbness, most commonly on one side of the body
  • pain that extends to your arms or legs
  • pain that worsens at night or with certain movements
  • pain that worsens after standing or sitting
  • pain when walking short distances
  • tingling, aching, or burning sensations in the affected area

 3. Prolapsed Disc: A prolapsed disc, commonly referred to as  slipped disc, occurs when the gel-like, inner nucleus of an intervertebral disc bulges or seeps through a weakened region in its hard outer casing. It is a total crack of a disc.

Symptoms include:

  • In severe cases, loss of control of bladder and/or bowels, numbness in the genital area, and impotence (in men)
  • Numbness, pins and needles, or tingling in one or both arms or legs
  • Pain behind the shoulder blade(s) or in the buttock(s)
  • Pain running down one or both arms or legs
  • The location of these symptoms depends upon which nerve(s) has been affected. In other words, the precise location of the
  • symptoms helps determine your diagnosis.
  • Weakness involving one or both arms or legs