Discs in the lumbar spine (low back) are the most common source of low back pain for patients under 55 years old. As we travel up the spine into the middle back and neck, the discs become less involved and the facet joints are more likely to be generating pain, however the discs in the neck are always considered as a possible pain source.

what is a disc bulge?

A disc bulge is a common finding on MRI and represents wear and tear and the beginning of the disc to fail. As the disc changes composition due to degenerative change it begins to bulge out (like compressing a sponge between your hands). The inside jelly part of the disc (the nucleus) is pushing out against the disc walls.

what is disc herniation?

A disc herniation is when the outer layers of the disc open and the nucleus pushes through causing a more pronounced outpouching of the disc.

Both a disc bulge and a disc herniation can be painful however they typically present in different ways. This is because a herniation will more likely affect the nerve root coming out from the spine. This means that pain, weakness, numbness or tingling may be felt down the leg and below the knee with a disc herniation.

A disc bulge can produce referred pain into the leg and thigh however it is unlikely to go below the knee. A disc bulge is unlikely to cause weakness, numbness or tingling.

Disc bulges and herniations can be non painful and are found quite frequently in people with no symptoms, however disc bulges and herniations are found more frequently on MRI in people who do experience pain.

Our chiropractor will examine and test your spine and nerves to determine the extent of the disc injury. An MRI may be ordered if there is significant nerve involvement or if improvement is not being made with treatment. The chiropractor can also help guide you around whether an injection around the nerve is a suitable treatment option for you or if surgery is warranted, in most cases though discs will heal and resorb over time.

The clinical findings will also determine which treatment approach will be best for you. Our chiropractor has extensive experience with managing disc bulges and herniations and the pain arising from the disc can be abated quite quickly with skillful hands on care and self managment strategies.

There is supportinve research comparing spinal manipulation to nerve root injections for disc herniations and bulges and the people who received spinal manipulation had much better outcomes. This is important to know because often nerve root injections are a last resort, after having exhausted all other options. This means that chiropractic care should be considered before these invasive procedures.

How can spinal manipulation help?

  1. Manipulation provides a burst of information creating improved prioprecption and inhibiting pain from the disc.

  2. Increased movement of the spinal segments impacts the vascular flow to the disc, helping move inflammation away.

  3. Leads to less muscle spasm, improving overall movement, fascilitating healing and enhancing neuromuscular control.

Reduce Pain and Inflammation

strengthen injured muscles

Release Pain on Nerves

increasing range of motion and flexibility

promote healing in injured tissues

Reduce muscle spasm and improve movement


Our consultations are tailored to you.

Our appointments are based on your individual needs. We address your specific problems and our treatment plan is aligned with your goals and preferences. We utilise longer appointments to truly understand and treat your condition. 

We're experienced.

With over 10 years of clinical experience, we’ve seen people from all walks of life with all types of conditions. If you have a spine, musculo-skeletal or nervous system problem you should talk to us. We want to fix your problem so that you are pain free. 

We care.

At this clinic you will be treated with the utmost respect and courtesy. We follow up and communicate with your General Practitioner, allied health providers and coaches. We are determined to help get you well and keep you well.  

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