spine model

Also called a ruptured disc or slipped disc, a herniated disc is a common spine injury that can occur anywhere along the spine but most commonly in the lower back.

Discs, located between the vertebrae (bones) of the spine, help absorb shock and allow movement. A herniated disc occurs when the outer part of a disc is torn and the inner part "slips" or herniates out. A herniated disc can cause nerve irritation, leading to pain and other symptoms.


A herniated disc can lead to nerve irritation and back and neck pain. Other symptoms may include:

  • Tingling or numbness
  • Radiating leg or arm pain
  • Muscle weakness

Diagnosis and Treatment

Typically, a herniated disc is diagnosed through an in-office physical exam and imaging tests (MRI, X-ray, CT scan, etc.). Your treatment options may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Hot or cold therapy
  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • Pain management /steroid injections

In severe cases, when other treatment methods do not work, surgery (a discectomy, for example) may be an option.

Contact Us

To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, call the spine team at UM St. Joseph Medical Center at 410-337-4882. Meet our expert spine team.