The disc consists of a central soft area known as nucleus pulposus and a tough outer ring known as annulus fibrosus. Factors as trauma and degeneration may cause a tear in the annulus fibrosus which will lead to herniation of the nucleus pulposus outwards. This is simply the mechanism of a herniated (slipped) disc.
The herniated disc will start to compress the nearby nerves causing back pain which is accompanied with a sharp lancinating leg pain (known as sciatica and femoralgia). The mechanism is illustrated in this image:
The following video clearly illustrates the mechanism of a herniated disc
What is the treatment of a herniated disc ?
There are two options: medical treatment and a surgical one. In 90% of the cases, the medical treatment relieves the symptoms.
Medical treatment measures include: