Herniated Disk | Overview


What is a herniated disk?

Your spine (backbone) is made up of vertebrae (bones) and disks. Disks are like soft cushions between the bones of the spine. The disks in the spine let you move your backbone.

When a disk between two bones in the spine presses on the nerves around the backbone, it's called a herniated disk. The word "herniate" (say: her-nee-ate) means to bulge or to stick out. Sometimes this is called a ruptured or slipped disk. Herniated disks are most common in the lumbar spine -- the lower part of your backbone, between the bottom of your ribs and your hips.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 02/99