Your backbone/spinal column is made up of a series of vertebral bones stacked onto each other. Counting from top to bottom, the column has seven bones in the cervical area, 12 in the thoracic area, and five in the lumbar area followed by the sacrum and the coccyx bone at the base. These bones are separated and cushioned by vertebral discs. The discs not only support vertebral bones, but also protect them by absorbing shocks from routine activities like walking, twisting, and lifting.
Each disc is further divided into two parts: a tough outer ring and a soft, gelatinous inner portion. Weakness or injury can cause the gelatinous portion of the disc to bulge through the outer ring. This condition is known as a herniated, slipped, or prolapsed disc. This leads to classic signs and symptoms of the condition. In severe instances, you may require surgical intervention to repair or remove the slipped disc.
No matter what the underlying cause, herniated disc has the following signs and symptoms.