An intervertebral disc is a cushion located between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. These discs consist of a soft, gel-like center (nucleus pulposus) surrounded by a tough, fibrous outer ring (annulus fibrosus). The discs act as shock absorbers for the spine, allowing for movement and flexibility. When a disc is healthy, it can maintain its shape and provide adequate cushioning for the spine. However, when a disc becomes damaged or degenerates, it can bulge or rupture, also known as a herniated disc. This can occur in any part of the spine but is most common in the lower back (lumbar region) and neck (cervical spine). Herniated discs can put pressure on nearby nerves causing pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms or legs. The severity of symptoms depends on the location and size of the herniated disc.