Slipped, ruptured, prolapsed, protruded - what does it all mean?
The disc is a shock absorber for the bones of the spine - think of a jelly donut without that little hole on the side - there's your disc. You are taller in the morning because you discs are full of water, losing it and flattening the discs as the day goes on. Discs show signs of wear and tear at the age of 15. Over the years it shrinks, dries out or cracks. The insides - now, think of a jelly donut with the hole on the side - start to leak out under pressure. If the jelly doesn't come out, and just causes the disc to go through some altered changes in it's structure or position, you have a protrusion or herniated disc. If the jelly comes out, you have a prolapse or ruptured disc. The protrusion is easier to work with. The prolapse, usually, leads to surgery. Your discs are like erasers when you use them, and when they're gone - you're a goner.