Like herniated discs, bulging and protruding discs can be caused in many different ways. For example, in a rear-end collision the car suddenly stops. This causes your neck to move forward and snap back, pushing your neck bones against one another and causing the disc between them to protrude outside of the space it is supposed to occupy between the vertebrae, impinging local nerves.
Bulging discs often result in pain, which radiates from the neck down to the arms, often causing tingling, numbness, and weakness in the extremities. Unfortunately, despite pain medication and time, for many individuals a bulging disc is a permanent disability.
Though often used interchangeably, herniated discs, bulging discs and protruding discs can be very different. Treatment depends on the nature and extent of the injury. Factors such as how the injury was sustained, and who the person is that was injured make a difference. Those who are injured should generally see a medical professional to be examined.