Last Updated: 1/5/2023

Bulging and herniated discs are common forms of problems with the spine.  Just because you have a bulging disc does not automatically mean that you will have pain.  Many people have disc issues which would show on an MRI as a possible problem but are not having any symptoms which are called asymptomatic.  So yes, you may be working with no issues and have a bulging disc in your back. 


However, if you are having pain that radiates into your arms, hands, legs or feet because of a bulging disc then this is likely a more significant problem.  A bulging or herniated disc that puts pressure on the nerves in your spine is not only painful but can result in permanent disability and impairment in some cases.  If you have these kinds of symptoms it is very important that you seek immediate medical attention.  In order to treat these conditions, your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medications, epidural injections or even surgery.   

Symptoms That May Indicate a Bulging Disc

This condition (also referred to as a herniated disc) happens when a spongy disc located between vertebrae is damaged. It may break open or bulge out, putting pressure on nerves in the spinal cord.

If the bulging disc is in one of the two most common areas – the lower back or neck – then the pain might spread to the:

  • buttocks (lower back);
  • hips (lower back);
  • legs (lower back);
  • shoulders (neck); or
  • arms (neck).

The most common symptom is pain, which can spread to other parts of the body. Weakness and numbness sometimes accompany the pain.

It oftentimes starts as discomfort but worsens with time and when performing certain tasks such as:

  • lifting;
  • bending;
  • walking;
  • extended sitting;
  • standing; or
  • it may get worse at night.


If you or loved one has sustained a work injury involving a bulging or herniated disc which is causing you pain and problems, then it is important that you learn about your rights and responsibilities under Iowa law.  That is why we offer our Iowa Workers' Compensation book at no cost to you.  Our book reveals the Iowa Injured Workers Bill of Rights, 7 Costly Mistakes and How to avoid them and much, much more. . . .    If you have immediate questions feel free to call us at (641) 792-3595.  There is no cost or obligation or you can Chat Here Now

Corey Walker
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With over 28 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.