If a general practitioner determines back pain is likely from a bulging disk, an orthopedic doctor is the specialist to whom the GP refers the patient to address that issue, according to the Laser Spine Institute. An orthopedic doctor primarily deals with bone and muscle disorders.
As a person ages, the outer portion of intervertebral discs grow weaker, and pressure causes the outer rim of the disk to stretch, explains the Laser Spine Institute. Bulging discs in the vertebrae are a common occurrence, and those suffering from bulging discs are typically asymptomatic, explains the Laser Spine Institute. If a bulging disc puts pressure on a nerve, however, a patient might experience pain or discomfort that necessitates medical treatment.