Herniated Disc

Discs are the shock absorbers and are present throughout the spine, separating the bones and allowing for pain-free bending and twisting of the spine. A normal disc consists of a gel-like center called nucleus pulposus and an outer shell that contains the jell in a place called the annulus fibrosis. Think of the Jelly filled doughnut; the center soft jelly would represent the nucleus pulposus and the outside the annulus fibrosis. When the shell (annulus fibrosis) gets injured, the center portion of the jell (nucleus pulposus) leaks out – this is what is referred to as a disc herniation. If this herniation is in proximity to the nerve(s), it may cause symptoms of numbness, tingling, sharp shooting pain, neck or back pain, weakness in a limb or two, and in certain cases of spinal cord compression, bowel, bladder disturbances, paralysis, or stroke-like symptoms. There is also a strong possibility that even with a large disc herniation(s) one may not have any symptoms whatsoever.