A herniated disc happens when one of the discs in your spine weakens. The discs in your spine share the responsibility of cushioning your vertebrae and absorbing shock when you move. Each disc contains an outer portion called the annulus and a center portion called the nucleus.

A herniated disc happens when the nucleus pushes through the annulus through a tear or weak spot. In many cases, it puts pressure on nearby nerve roots, causing pain, numbness, or tingling in various regions of your body like your arms or legs. The symptoms vary widely, depending on the location of the herniated disc along your spine.

While herniated discs can happen at any point along your spine, they’re most likely to occur in your neck (cervical spine) or lower back (lumbar spine).