The disks in a person’s spinal column are located between the vertebrae and serve to cushion the bones and absorb shock. Made of a ring of tough, fibrous tissue (annulus) surrounding a ball of jelly-like material (nucleus pulposus), each disk has no individual blood supply and contains 80% water. A disk becomes herniated when its exterior tissue suffers tiny tears – resulting from a single trauma or a gradual process of wear and tear – and the interior substance leaks out. Individuals with herniated disks suffer a variety of symptoms that may include sharp or throbbing pain; shooting pain down the leg during coughing, sneezing, or after long periods of sitting; and difficulty performing daily activities due to discomfort.
P.S. Individuals in their 30s and 40s are most prone to herniated disks, most often in the lower back.