Also known as a disc protrusion, are very common. You may have a bulging disk and never know; however, they can cause discomfort and disability in various parts of the body if the disc compresses on the spinal cord. As we age, the outer fibrous portion of our discs can weaken. Pressure from the central core of the disc can then stretch to the outer rim, causing the disc to bulge. If left untreated, the disc can continue to bulge until it tears, which is classified as a herniated disc.