A disk is a cushion that rests between two sections of vertebral bones. The disk is filled with a fluid that helps to cushion the shock of movement among the several vertebrae. As one ages, the fluid begins to dry out. This is one of the significant reasons that people, as they become old, tend to become shorter. The natural desiccation of the disks also makes back injury and pain more likely than in younger years. A disk rupture occurs when the wall of the disk that retains the fluid breaks open due to shock or natural degeneration. The fluid then leaves the disk and the disk can no longer provide any protection.
A herniated Disc is a spinal disc which is either damaged or there's also one that bulges. It can cause much discomfort &/or pain, especially when trying to move, stoop or bend and effects one's ability to walk. Orthopedic surgery is performed when all other treatments fail - spinal injections, oral meds., etc. The Orthopod removes a portion of the disc. It is extremely delicate surgery and hazardous, but to regain the ability to walk, I went through it. Took about 5 weeks to heal - small cut on the spine but the problem is a possible spinal bleed (deadly). Forget chiropractors (snake oil salesman) - they are neither qualified or capable of repairing the damage. In some cases they can relieve misalignments, but that's all. Why one even told me he could cure my heart disease buy realigning my spine!! They're not even doctors. They only go to school as long as an undergraduate yet they're allowed to call themselves doctors!!! Go see a good Orthopedic Specialist, one whose devoted about 9-10 years of graduate education plus all the sub-specialties required. In the Philly area, I'd go to Jefferson. Find a like Hospital/Med. Institution in your area.