Dear Troubled With Terms,
If you're confused by all the ways to describe a disc injury, you’re not alone!
Several years ago, a task force of spine specialists sat down to simplify the terminology. As a result, there are just two main types of disc issues: herniations and bulges. Like a herniation, a bulge is an injury that changes the shape of a disc and can inflame nearby structures; but, unlike a herniation (where one part of the disc pushes through a tear), a bulge refers to a general enlargement of the disc’s edges (the whole disc appears swollen).
Other common terms like slipped, ruptured, and prolapsed are synonyms that you can swap for a herniation or bulge (Schroeder, 2016).
Feeling symptoms that you think may be related to a disc injury? Get an expert opinion today.