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Anatomy guide: lower back disorders

Herniated disc

Discs are the cushions between the vertebrae, the bones of your spine. When part of the disc becomes weak, such as from excessive physical strain, the gel within the disc can bulge, protrude or extrude. This is commonly referred to as a herniated, ruptured or slipped disc. When this occurs, the nerves from the spinal cord may become compressed, causing back pain and shooting pain down the legs called sciatica.

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