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Medical Illustrations

Picture of Slipped Disc

Slipped Disc Illustration

A slipped disc, or herniated disc, occurs when the soft, jelly-like material in a disc of the spinal column (nucleus) breaks through the tissue that surrounds it (annulus). The tissue that extends beyond the annulus presses on one or several spinal nerves. Nerve compression may cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the parts of the body connected to the affected nerves.

There are 24 vertebrae that make up the spine. The vertebrae are separated by discs that absorb shock and cushion the spine. The vertebrae protect the spinal cord that runs through the length of the spinal column.

Image Source: MedicineNet, Inc.

Text Reference: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Herniated Disk in the Lower Back”