A slipped disc is the same thing as a bulging, herniated or ruptured disc. Due to the structure of the spine and vertebrae, a disc cannot actually “slip”. The soft part of the disc bulges through the circle of connective tissue and pushes on the spinal cord or nerves. Slipped discs occur most commonly in the lower back. They may occur with age or following trauma or injury. Symptoms of a slipped disc include sudden severe back pain, muscle spasm, sciatica, pain or numbness around the chest, pain in the shoulder, neck, arm or hand, difficulty moving, stiffness, and spinal cord compression (which is a medical emergency). Treatment includes bed rest initially, medication, physiotherapy, chiropractic, surgery, massage, osteopathy, and gentle exercise.