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What Happens When You Slip a Disc?

Last updated 6 years ago

Your spine is made up of vertebral bodies that are separated by shock-absorbing discs. When a disc moves or splits, it results in a slipped disc, also known as a herniated disc. While some people with a slipped disc may experience no symptoms, the condition can cause pain and numbness in the area surrounding the damage. To help you recognize when to seek medical attention, learn more about what happens when you slip a disc and the possible consequences of the condition.


Depending on the position and size of the herniated disc, you could experience very different symptoms from another affected patient. A common symptom of a herniated disc is pain in the lower back, which may indicate that the disc is not pressing a nerve. In the event that a disc is applying pressure to a nerve, you could experience weakness, tingling, or pain in the area along the nerve’s path. Your spine specialist can evaluate your symptoms and provide an accurate diagnosis for the source of your pain.

Leading Causes

A herniated disc is the result of significant wear and tear that can occur from old age, repetitive movements or, more commonly, physically demanding activity. Individuals who engage in poor lifting habits or who accidentally strain their backs are at the highest risk for disc rupture.

Treatment Options

The best treatment for slipped discs is to practice preventive measures. Fortunately, most patients with herniated discs can typically expect recovery within a month if they seek medical attention. If nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy or injections fail to relieve pain, your physician may recommend spine surgery. A discectomy, for example, is a surgery that removes ruptured disc material and alleviates pain related to nerve damage in the leg.

If you suffer from a slipped disc or back pain, make an appointment with Kraus Back and Neck Institute today. The founder of KBNI, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. Please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.


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