The spine is made up of a series of connected bone called vertebrae. Between each vertebrae is a cushion called the intervertebral disc. Each disc absorbs the stress and shock that goes through the body during movements like bending, twisting, running and jumping.


A herniated disc can also be called a slipped disc. It happens when part of the disc is squeezed out from between the vertebrae. The result can be an irritated or “pinched” nerve, resulting in buttocks or leg pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and, sometimes, back pain. The pain can vary from very mild to so severe it is almost intolerable. In some instances there may be no pain and proper investigation is then needed to determine the cause of the nerve problem.


Most people with a herniated disc do not have a pinched nerve (medical term: radiculopathy), but even if radiculopathy is present, surgery is usually not needed to correct the problem