Herniated DiskAlso called: Bulging disk, Compressed disk, Herniated intervertebral disk, Herniated nucleus pulposus, Prolapsed disk, Ruptured disk, Slipped disk
Your backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between them are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. As you age, the disks break down or degenerate. As they do, they lose their cushioning ability. This can lead to pain if the back is stressed.
Your doctor will diagnose a herniated disk with a physical exam and, sometimes, imaging tests. With treatment, most people recover. Treatments include rest, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.
NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Diagnosis and Tests
- Computed Tomography (CT) - Spine (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Also in Spanish
- Discography (Discogram) (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Also in Spanish
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - Spine (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Also in Spanish
- Radiographic Assessment for Back Pain (North American Spine Society)
Treatments and Therapies
- Artificial Disc Replacement (North American Spine Society)
- Epidural Injections for Spinal Pain (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Also in Spanish
- Laparoscopic Spine Surgery (Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons)
- Lumbar (Open) Microscopic Discectomy (North American Spine Society)
- Spinal Fusion (North American Spine Society)
- Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve) (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) - PDF
- Genetics Home Reference: intervertebral disc disease (National Library of Medicine)
Health Check Tools
- Chronic Back Pain (DSHI Systems)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Intervertebral Disc Displacement (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Surgical Outcome of Two-Level Transforaminal Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy for...
- Article: Miniopen Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion with Unilateral Fixation: A Comparison...
- Article: Structural Preservation Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Interlaminar Discectomy for L5-S1 Herniated...
- Herniated Disk -- see more articles
- Definitions (North American Spine Society)