Bulging Disc

Bulging Disc Causes and Symptoms

Bulging disc is a very common medical condition, affecting over 3 million per year. Bulging disc is also known as a disc protrusion, occurs when a disc compresses an adjoining nerve root or the spinal cord. There are 2 major parts to a spinal disk: the soft center and the tougher outer casing. As we age, the outer casing can weaken or crack, allowing the soft center to push through these cracks.

Bulging disc doesn’t always cause symptoms; many people do not know they have bulging discs because they have no symptoms and feel no pain. Once a bulging disc causes a pinched nerve, then you may start experiencing different symptoms.

Over 90% of bulging discs occur in the lower back area. In the lower back, bulging disc can cause pain throughout the hips, buttocks, legs, and feet. If the damaged disc occurs in the cervical spine, pain can be felt through the neck, down the arm and to the fingers.

There are many different causes for bulging disc. While aging can definitely weaken the outer layer of the disc, there are several other causes and activities that may cause the development of a bulging disc:

  • Trauma
  • Poor Posture
  • Repetitive motions, frequently linked to your occupation
  • Poor Lifting techniques
  • Contact sports


Obesity, smoking and consuming too much alcohol are also conditions that can speed up the deterioration of the disc’s outer layers.


There are several options for treatment based on the patient’s condition, symptoms and medical history. Our physicians can determine whether conservative or more advanced treatment is needed based on your condition and symptoms.  Minimally invasive procedures such as laser spine surgery can provide pain relief and improvement for your condition. Please contact one of our doctors today for a consultation to discover your best options.