JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Slipped disc. Artwork of an intervertebral disc (blue) that has ruptured, leading to the internal jelly-like material (purple) putting pressure on a nerve (yellow). Intervertebral discs are found in the backbone, forming the cushions between each of the spinal bones (vertebrae) forming the vertebral column. Several of the vertebrae (brown) and discs are seen here, with the spinal cord (top centre) running down inside the spine. The spinal cord connects all nerves to the brain, so pressure on a nerve close to the spinal cord can cause pain and paralysis in large areas of the body. Surgery may be needed, though most slipped discs heal with rest.
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