Q.A few years ago, I was diagnosed with a chipped disc in my back. The piece lodged near my sciatic nerve center. I was told that I could have surgery, or I could just tough it out and it would eventually dissolve.

It has gotten much better, but once in a while the discomfort reappears, mainly in the evening. When I am working or moving around it doesn’t seem to bother me. I am afraid that the intense pain will return. Should I continue to wait it out, or do I need to do something else?

F.K.

A.In your question you mentioned that you have a “chipped disc” in your back. I am assuming that you meant slipped disc. This term is commonly used for a herniated nucleus pulpous, or herniated disc.

Discs are components of the spine that serve as cushions between vertebrae (spinal bones). When a disc is injured or irritated, it may herniate (bulge), pressing against a nerve root in the spine and causing pain.