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What is a slipped disc?

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Quick Answer

A slipped disc occurs when the soft inner portion of an intervertebral disc pushes against its own harder exterior portion, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. In some cases, the soft middle comes completely out of the hard exterior of the disc.

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Full Answer

Also known as a herniated or ruptured disc, the condition usually happens in the lower five vertebrae of the lumbar section of the spine. The discs rest between the vertebrae as a cushion. The damage that causes a slipped disc can come from an injury or normal wear and tear on the discs, notes WebMD. A slipped disc often causes pain. If the damaged disc puts pressure on nerves, that area of the body may experience pain, numbness and weakness.

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