The discs that cushion your vertebrae are made of a soft cartilage surrounded by a layer of tougher cartilage. The discs are attached to the vertebra above and the vertebra below, providing proper spacing for nerve roots to move through the spine. When the disc extends outside the space between the vertebrae, it is known as a bulging disc. When the outer layer of the disc actually cracks, it’s known as a herniated disc, ruptured disc, or slipped disc. Bulging discs are more common, but herniated discs are typically more painful. Often, an MRI can detect a herniated or bulging disc, and then our doctors can provide a customized treatment plan to minimize your pain.