The Vertabrae that form the spine are cushioned by small spongy discs. When these discs are healthy the serve almost as shock absorbers for the spine and also help to keep it flexible. However, if one of these discs is damaged it can begin to bulge or even break open. This is known as a herniated disc and it can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. Herniated discs can also result in numbness or weakness in the arms and legs. You may also have heard herniated discs referred to as slipped or ruptured discs.