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My grandmother is 76 and she has been experiencing pain in her back for a long time. When I took her to doctor she was diagnosed with bulging disk. At first I thought it was herniated disk, but it appears that these two are different. Can I get an explanation?

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Many people think that herniated disk is the same thing like bulging disk. A bulging disk occurs naturally from age-related wear and tear of the spine. Unfortunately, it is always painless. A bulging disk can be discovered incidentally. It is usually seen on computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). What is interesting is that a bulging disk is discovered when CT and MRI are done for some other reason and a it doesn't require treatment. The same wear and tear that causes bulging can allow the softer, central cartilage of the disk to protrude through a crack in the fibrous ring. This fibrous ring surrounds the disk and doctors refer to this protrusion as a herniated disk. This condition can be painful. Treatment of a herniated disk includes rest, pain medications, cortisone injections, heat or cold therapy. In some cases, herniated disk needs to be treated surgically.
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