Herniated disc

A herniated disc (slipped disc) occurs when the circle of connective tissue surrounding the disc breaks down. This allows the soft, gel-like part of the disc to swell and protrude out.

Overview Overview Image
Image of spine and discs

A herniated disc is sometimes referred to as a disc prolapse or slipped disc. Your back is made up of 24 hollow bones held together by fibrous plates called discs. Sometimes herniated discs put pressure on the nerves in your spine. This may make you feel pain running over your hip and down your leg called sciatic pain (sciatica). You may also feel “pins and needles” or numbness in your leg and lower back pain. In extreme cases symptoms may include difficulty in passing urine.

If your symptoms persist or get worse you may be referred to a spinal consultant. They may order x-rays or an MRI scan. Based on the results of these procedures your consultant may recommend further treatment.

MRI scan

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a special technique that uses powerful magnets, radio waves and computers to produce detailed images (or scans) of the inside of your body.