A herniated disc, often referred to as a slipped or bulging disc, affects one in eight Americans between the ages of 30 and 50 years. Of this number, only a fraction is treated
Sciatica results from a herniated disc in the low back pushing on a nerve root.
for the condition because a large number of cases go undiagnosed. Herniated discs can be extremely painful and grow progressively worse over time if left untreated.
A herniated disc is a problem that affects the rubbery cushion or disc that is situated in between the vertebrae along the spine. These individual bones stack up in order to create the spinal column, and the disc in between acts as a great shock absorber as a person moves, twists, and bends.
The disc itself has two parts, an inner part called the nucleus pulposus and an outer part called the anulus fibrosus. The analogy that is best is a jelly donut, where the inner part is softer than the outer shell. When a herniation occurs, some of the jelly that makes up the nucleus is pushed through a crack in the outer part of the disc. This problem can irritate the nerves located nearby and cause pain, irritation, tenderness, numbness and weakness in the extremities.