Back and Neck Injury/Posterior disc bulge


My MRI shows broad based posterior disc bulge and superimposed left foraminal disc herniation detected.  What does that mean?

Hi Theresa,

A disc bulge is a type of disc herniation. Like a tire that is flat, it bulges out. How it bulges and where is what is being described. The disc is between 2 spinal bones in front of the spinal cord. The MRI shows the disc is bulging out backwards (posterior) towards the nerves and spinal cord. Broad based means that it is wide, covering most of the back part of the area on the left and right sides, but typically even around.

I think what they are getting at with the superimposed left foraminal disc herniation is that the disc is  bulging (herniating) into the space where the nerve exits out between 2 spinal bones. So, the bulge is bulging around in general, and specifically into the nerve space on the left. This can be the cause of a pinched nerve or radiculopathy, which can cause symptoms like local pain and pain, numbness, tingling and weakness referred into certain areas of an arm or leg.

You can see a good picture of this in the neck that shows a herniated disc placing pressure directly on the left nerve in this area at

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Dr. Steve  

Back and Neck Injury

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Dr. Steve Ornstein


I can answer questions regarding neck and back pain treatment and general musculoskeletal conditions. Acute, chronic and degenerative conditions using various methods; exercise, rehabilitation, traction. Pain relief methods and professional quality products via website at which can be used at home.


Graduated Chiropractic College in 1987, working in numerous clinics within two states using a variety of manual and physiological therapies. Involved in martial arts for 20 years.

Chiropractor Sherman College, Certified in Physiological Therapeutics from National Chiropractic College, Certified Peer Review Consultant from New York Chiropractic College, Studied with Dr. Cox using Flexion Distraction Technique, Studied with Dr. Leahy using Active Release Technique. Myofascial Release with Dr. Rockwell - Parker Chiropractic College. Certified in Modic Antibiotic Spinal Therapy.

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