Your spinal column is made up of a series of bones (vertebrae) stacked onto each other. From top to bottom, the column includes seven bones in the cervical spine, 12 in the thoracic spine, and five in the lumbar spine, followed by the sacrum and the coccyx at the base. These bones are cushioned by discs. The discs protect the bones by absorbing the shocks from daily activities like walking, lifting, and twisting. Each disc has two parts: a soft, gelatinous inner portion and a tough outer ring. Injury or weakness can cause the inner portion of the disc to protrude through the outer ring. This is known as a slipped, herniated, or prolapsed disc. This causes pain and discomfort. If the slipped disc compresses one of your spinal nerves, you may also experience numbness and pain along the affected nerve. In severe instances, you may require surgery to remove or repair the slipped disc.