fbpx Skip to content

Bulging and Herniated Discs

The pain associated with a bulging intervertebral disc can be tingling, nagging and sometimes sharp. It often radiates to areas of your body such as down your arm or leg. This type of pain is called radiculopathy.

A bulging disc occurs when the protective disc’s outer edge, the annulus fibrosus, weakens and bulges out from the disc where it may compress a nerve root associated with one of your extremities, which is why the pain seems to come from the distant location. We think that a disc may bulge from uneven forces in the spine that contribute to damage at the facet joints (the joints where the vertebrae meet each other).

Bulging discs in the cervical region will trigger pain that comes from fingers, hands, arms, and shoulders. Muscle weakness, tingling, and diminished reflexes can also be caused by disc herniation. The most common source in the neck is the disc located at C6-7.

Overall, the most common area for a bulging disc is in the lumbar region or lower back, typically occurring in L4-L5 and L5-S1. The radiating pain may arise from the groin, buttocks, upper thigh, calf, foot and toes. Tingling or muscle weakness may also occur. For herniation in the sacrum area, incontinence and sexual dysfunction can be key diagnostic symptoms. The most severe damage can cause a drop foot.

What may appear to be a herniated disc may also be a spinal instability in your facet joints caused by synovitis, which is why a comprehensive diagnosis is important to avoid unnecessary surgeries.

The pain of a herniated disc is very similar to the pain from a bulging disc. It seems to radiate from one of your extremities.

A herniated disc occurs when the hard edge around the intervertebral disc called the annulus fibrosus herniates and releases the contents of the disc. The soft tissue that is extruded can compress nerve roots, and narrow the adjacent foramina channels causing stenosis.

The conventional understanding of back pain is that disk herniation or bulging discs are the prime drivers of back pain. Unfortunately, conventional medicine is often missing the real driver of the pain. In some instances, they are looking for pain in all the wrong places. For example, in an MRI scan, it is challenging to identify injured synovial tissue, but it is easy to see a ruptured disc. In our practice, by gently palpitating back structures, muscles and ligaments, and by looking deeper for kinetic weaknesses, we can identify the root causes for back pain, which are often spinal instability.

It is our experience that spinal instability is caused by injuries to synovial tissues, which are often, in reality, the prime drivers of pain. These highly enervated ligaments help keep the facet joints, vertebrae and intervertebral discs strong and flexible. When the ligaments weaken or are damaged, the kinetic balance of the spine weakens and spine structures begin to loosen and fail.

The good news is we know how to regenerate key structures along damaged spines using The Greenberg Method without requiring an operation and all the associated issues an operation entails.

If you suspect that you may have a herniated disc, Dr. Greenberg will perform a Comprehensive Kinetic Diagnosis including a review of your most recent radiographs. He will carefully examine and palpate your neck, back and shoulders to gain a comprehensive understanding of the kinetic integrity of all the key systems involved along your spine, pelvis, knees and feet. We don’t just fix one part, we try to treat all the injured parts to fix the whole YOU!

After the comprehensive review, Dr. Greenberg may recommend The Greenberg Method that includes Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and stem cells. From our extensive experience over the past twenty years of treating herniated discs non-surgically, Dr. Greenberg has found that the synergy between Prolotherapy and PRP is quite beneficial. The Prolotherapy treatment activates a stabilizing, proliferative and regenerative cascade of cells and healing factors that collect near the damaged site of the back.

What does the Platelet Rich Plasma add to the TGM regenerative cocktail? Quite a bit more. When platelet rich plasma is injected near the site of your injury, platelets, stem cells, and healing factors travel to the area and stabilize it by promoting hemostasis. PRP helps produce fibrin and initiates the creation of new connective tissue and also promotes the building of veins, nerves and even bone. The platelets contain growth factors such as PDGF, TGF-B, bFGF, VEGF, and EGF. They all work together to build extracellular matrices that help regenerate damaged cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Platelet-rich plasma also repairs the interior of the intervertebral disc by reconstituting the cells of the nucleus pulposus.

Dr. Greenberg has administered Stem Cell treatments for almost ten years to many patients who were suffering from a herniated disc. The treatments often improved back functionality and reduced pain and weakness significantly.

He has treated many patients for Dropped Foot Syndrome. He administers a single stem cell treatment that is synergized by several follow-up PRP treatments. Their dropped foot symptoms are often improved after a series of comprehensive treatments.

Depending on your condition, you may need several TGM treatments over several months, but soon your spinal systems should be back in balance, your ligaments will regenerate, your skeletal structure will be firmed up, and your pain symptoms reduced.

If you or a loved one is looking for a new strategy to treat chronic aches and pains, fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment or call Dr. Greenberg’s office today at (833) 440-4325.

The long term success of Dr. Greenberg’s patients is attributed to a specialized approach of the examination process. Deemed “The Greenberg Method,” this strategy not only looks into the area of damage and pain, but also evaluates the mechanics and structure of the bone and joints related to the area of the pain. For example, a patient who comes in with a lower back problem explains that past treatment in the area has not brought any relief. However, after an examination of the back along with the pelvis, hips, knees, and feet via The Greenberg Method, Dr. Greenberg discovers that the pain is rooted in a pelvic tilt. While an isolated joint treatment ignores physiology and the evaluation of movement, The Greenberg Method’s full-body examination produces a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan. In return, the patient experiences a greater reduction in pain and improvement in function, which helps them get back on their feet to resume their daily routines, pain free.

Dr. Greenberg’s team will perform The Greenberg Method, including a review of your most recent radiographs. They will carefully examine and palpate your neck, back and shoulders to gain a comprehensive understanding of the systems involved.

If Dr. Greenberg determines that you can be helped by The Greenberg Method, he may recommend synergizing the effects of Prolotherapy with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell treatments. Prolotherapy activates the proliferation of healing cells while PRP adds even more healing factors and stem cells that provide cellular building blocks for regenerating cartilage, ligaments, bone, nerves and blood vessels.

You may need several treatments over several months, but soon your spinal systems should be back in balance, your ligaments are regenerated, your skeletal structure firmed up, and your pain problems are resolved. Your bulging disc is in the rearview mirror. From a holistic perspective, we want to alleviate your pain, and also elevate your sense of wellness and joie de vivre! Healthy is good. Happy and Healthy is even better.

If you or a loved one is looking for a new strategy to treat chronic aches and pains, fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment or call Dr. Greenberg’s office today at (833) 440-4325.


In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community, any patient that enters the building will be screened for the virus by having their temperature taken and filling out a questionnaire from Main Line Health. Once inside the office, patients will be asked to wash their hands immediately and may receive another temperature check. All patients will be able to maintain a safe social distance from others, as only one patient is seen per hour. The Greenberg Regenerative staff wears their masks at all times, and also ensures that all safety protocols and guidelines per Main Line Health and the CDC are being followed. Additionally, Dr. Greenberg is fully vaccinated, which further reduces possible COVID-19 transmission. At the end of the appointment, patients have the option to take a Greenberg Regenerative Medicine hand sanitizer to allow them to remain safe and healthy.