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Where Does a Lumbar Bulging Disc Start?

Your back is really hurting, and the Doctor tells you that you have a bulging disc in your lower back. There is pain down your leg and your foot is tingly and numb. Now what?

The first thing I tell my clients is that you don’t just “get” a bulging disc one day. There are certain factors that start creating a bulging disc, typically years before it ever shows up.

The question you have to start asking yourself is this:

If the reaction to those factors ends up being a bulging disc, then what are the actions that caused it to begin with?

Because if you work with those factors then you can start changing the outcome, or in this case, a bulging disc.

Disclaimer: I am not saying that we can “heal” someone’s back. Nor am I saying that you can “fix” a herniated or ruptured disc. Sometimes the only option someone has for healing is surgery. There are limitations to what any natural healing modality can do.

What I am saying however, is that if you know the factors that created a bulging disc and work with those – and the disc is not so far progressed into failure- then you can begin to change the state of the back.

The Potential Root Cause of a Lumbar Bulging Disc

In PPS Bodywork, we are always looking at cause and effect from many different angles. Two of the main areas are:

  1. Injury and Compensation

  2. Compensation and Balanced Compensation

For a disc to bulge in the back there has to be an injury somewhere that starts the process. The most common area I have found that directly affects a Lumbar Bulging Disc is an injury or Scar Tissue pattern to the side of the head – like an injury to the side of the head resulting in a concussion or a sideways blow to the head.

What that does is it shifts the eyes slightly to the side of the impact and the head is also turned slightly. This turning is so hard to even see, but the effects of it are huge. This will almost always be on the side of the head opposite of the pain in the back

  1. Compensation #1

The eyes are required by reflexes in the brain (Vestibular Apparatus) to remain level on the horizontal plane AND forward. This reflex also controls the postural muscles and can reset those muscles to a different position to hold the eyes in a better state:

  1. Compensation #2

In an effort to “force” the head to be straighter and level, the pelvis twists in the opposite direction – so if the head is turned slightly to the right due to an injury on the right side of the head, then the pelvis turns left. In doing so, the eyes are forward, and the pelvis assumes more of the dysfunction.

What this does however, is that it puts a twist (like a wringing motion) inside the back that over time, starts to create the area where the ligaments weaken. As time goes on, the disc starts to escape its cage.

  1. Compensation #3

The Physics of Actions and Reactions

Along with all of those compensations I listed, the body will have to create another area in the body to balance those actions. These are balanced compensations. Your body is bound to this process – just like gravity.

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” Inside this principle is where you find all the other compensations that balanced the first 3 compensations I listed. So, there will be at least 6 areas of compensation involved in this pattern; 6 areas of Scar Tissue that are “holding” the body in this position.

This position sacrifices the spine, but preserves your balance; what your eyes see, how the brain processes your position in space and all the reflexes that govern them. This whole process is about balance and spacial perception.

What you feel is pain in your back.

The Pain Patterns & Solutions program is uniquely different to most bodywork styles and theories available. We take a huge interest in the physics of motion and how the body functions and dysfunctions using Scar Tissue as its balancing mechanism.

Scar Tissue is not just used for healing in the body. It is also used by the body for balance. When you begin to see that secondary purpose, it begins to explain so many different things to you about why and HOW the body does what it does.

If you would like to learn more about our training and hands-on program, please visit

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