A torn disc occurs in the annular tissue, which is the outermost layer of the spinal disc. When this occurs, the center of a spinal disc ruptures the exterior casing, causing irritation around the soft tissue. In some cases, a torn disc may go unnoticed, but if the tear is severe, it could apply pressure to nerves, leading to neurological symptoms.
A spinal disc tear can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms it causes can be similar to other conditions. It is also possible to be diagnosed with a torn disc even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms. Both of these situations occur because the symptoms related to a torn disc, also called an annular tear, are usually caused by nerve compression.