No... neither of those disks can cause paralysis or brain damage. But it could cause intense dicomfort. Probably very simular to what you are feeling now. The disks are a cushion in between the bones that make up your spine. The spinal column is protected by the vertibras or bones of the spine. What is causing you the pain you are feeling now is the disks that are bulging and pressing on the spinal nerves that run inside of that column of bones. I hope your dr. or chiropactor has you on bed rest, or at least do not lift any thing and also are you taking a good anti-inflamtory product. If your dr. prescribed one , It might be a good idea to suppliment it with oil of evening primrose. Other suggestions are make sure you are a good weight. extra weight puts a terrible strain on the back. Do not lift anything more that a few pounds, and if you are standing when you cough or sneeze then bend your knees just slightly. the motions that hurt are the ones you should avoid. When people are having acute back ppain the motion of walking usually hurts and so the compensate by not using the normal gait. It is very common to trip over things with obviously can be very dangerous. Watch where you walk. when you lay down, place a pillow under the knees if you are on your back . If you lay on your side a pillow between the knees will take the pressure off of the back. under your neck you should have a pillow that is small and filled with buck wheat haulos. You can buy these in many health food stores and also the stores that have those beautiful over priced linens. The pillow are about 25-35 dollars and last for many years. I too have a ruptured disk in my neck and two in my lower back from a traffic accident 9 years ago. when you start to get better, stretching exercizes done very gently at first will help maintain your flexability and improve muscle tone. If you have access to a swimming pool this is the best place to excerise. Sitting for long peiods of time or driving for a few hours will cause pain so remember to get up and stretch. Chirapractors help more than most western medicine can. Massage when done by a chiropactor or someone who is trained in a medical massage such as sports medicine facilities are a good thought. Take care and feel free to email me if you think I can help.