Disc Bulges and Disc Herniations

Today, Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwick, PymbleBalmain, Neutral Bay, Coburg – Melbourne, and Barrie, Ontario – Canada  discuss disc bulges and disc herniations.

The intervertebral discs throughout the spine are cartilaginous joints that allow your spine to bend and rotate. They act as a cushions or shock absorbers in the spine, positioned between each bony vertebra. Each disc acts as a tough ligament that holds the vertebrae of the spine together. As we age, spinal discs wear and tear, however, disc issues can arise at any age.

:… act as a cushions or shock absorbers in the spine…”

There are a total of 23 vertebral discs in the spinal column. Specific problems with any of these discs may prompt unique symptoms, such as pain that originates in the disc itself and/or pain, numbness, weakness or tingling that is related to the disc pressing on a nearby nerve. Conversely, you may have a disc issue/lesion and be symptom free, and this is common.

What is the difference between a bulging disc vs. a herniated disc?

With a bulging disc, the spinal disc can become flattened in some places and bulge in others. Similar to what a flat tire looks like, a bulging disc can look deflated and bulge out of where it is normally positioned.

With a herniated disc, the spinal disc cracks or tears, causing the soft inner material of the disc to leak outside of its tough outer shell. Herniated discs are also called ruptured or slipped discs, although the entire disc does not rupture or slip as only a small area of the disc is affected.

Compared with a bulging disc, a herniated disc is more likely to cause pain because it generally protrudes farther and is more likely to irritate nerve roots. The irritation can be from compression of the nerve or, much more commonly, the herniation causes a painful inflammation of the nerve root. A herniated disc can be a serious problem and often causes radiculopathy down one or both extremities, depending on the location.

 Can you exercise with disc bulges and disc herniations? YES

Can you exercise with disc degeneration or disc lesions? YES

Patients diagnoses with disc bulges and disc herniations need to move and exercise! Longevity EP’s need to be involved for assessing critical movements, ensuring safety and appropriate technique, and providing evidence-based effective exercise.


With disc issues specific positions and motions that increase disc pressure and reproduce radicular symptoms need to be managed correctly. Functional strength training is vital for clients with disc bulges, herniations or lesions. Longevity EP’s provide programming such as pelvic adjustments or strengthening of the abdominals and glutes to best suit each individual client for their specific condition.

Engaging in exercise & physical activity helps to prevent the onset of lifestyle diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and also a shorter life expectancy.


Our practitioners offer the highest quality service in exercise professions to optimise client overall health and wellbeing long-term. If you or someone you know has a disc issue, disc bulge or disc herniation, Longevity Exercise Physiologists are here to help. Call Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwick, PymbleBalmain, Neutral Bay, Coburg – Melbourne. and Barrie, Ontario – Canada on 1300 964 002 to enquire today!


Written By Matt Skelly

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