You have undoubtedly heard someone say they have a, “slipped disc.” This is a little misleading because your spinal discs are not able to slip out of place. In fact, in a healthy spine the discs are actually stronger than the vertebrae. As we age, our spinal discs undergo wear and tear from the stress of repeated twisting, lifting, bending, and prolonged sitting. The wear and tear on the disc’s annulus can allow the disc’s inner nucleus to, “leak,” out. When this occurs, a disc has herniated.
Sometimes the leaked nucleus can cause an inflammatory response and put pressure on the spinal nerve that runs alongside the disc. If a disc is affected in the neck, this can result in arm pain. If a disc in the lower back is affected, often affecting the sciatic nerve, this can cause leg pain.