Herniated discs are also called broken discs or slipped discs, although the entire disc does not break or slip. Only the small area of the crack is affected. Compared to a bulging disc, a herniated disc is more likely to cause pain because it usually protrudes more and is more likely to irritate the nerve roots. It all depends on the level of the disc herniation and the nerve being pinched.
Although a herniated disc can be very painful, most people feel much better with just a few weeks or months of nonsurgical treatment. A large herniated disc is considered to be larger than 3 mm. Its size may cause the disc to slip out of place and begin to press on nearby nerves. Over time, this can cause muscle weakness and nerve damage.
A herniated disc can be called by many names, such as a herniated disc or a ruptured or bulging disc. The term slipped disc can cause confusion, since the spinal discs are firmly attached to the vertebrae and do not slide or move, but the internal gel-like material of the disc slides inside. Symptoms vary greatly, depending on the position of the disc herniation and the size of the hernia. If the herniated disc does not press on a nerve, the patient may experience pain in the lower back or not feel any pain.
If you are pressing on a nerve, there may be pain, numbness, or weakness in the area of the body to which the nerve travels. A herniated disc is usually preceded by an episode of low back pain or a long history of intermittent episodes of low back pain. During the session, an acupuncturist will press the needles into specific meridians near the disc herniation.