A bulging disc can also be known as a herniated disc, ruptured disc, slipped disc, sequestrated disc or a prolapsed disc. All these phrases basically mean the same thing and that is disc material poking out into the canal and pinching a nerve. The nerve will hurt where the nerve goes to. If this is in the arm it’s called brachalgia and if it’s in the leg it’s called sciatica.
After history and examination the most common investigation is an MRI scan and the quickest way of dealing with brachalgia or sciatica is with surgical intervention. In some circumstances injection therapy is appropriate with a policy of waiting for the problem to settle spontaneously. Which avenue to follow is decided upon at the time of consultation.