We have 24 discs in our spine, from the cervical spine (neck), through the thoracic (mid back) area and into the lumbar spine (low back). The discs sits between the vertebrae, and function as shock absorbers for our spine. The outside ring of the disc, called the annulus fibrosis, is made up of a dense connective tissue mix of collagen and cartilage. It is very strong. Inside the ring is a gel-like liquid called the nucleus pulposus. As force is placed on the spine, the liquid moves around inside the annulus to absorb pressure.
As we age, the nucleus pulposus progressively loses liquid and the outer annulus ring thins out. Our spine is unable to bear shock as effectively, and strains & tears in the annulus begin to occur. This is the origin for chronic symptoms for many people with low back and neck pain.
Our posture, physical work, and activity levels all directly influence how fast our discs and joints wear out. This makes regular care of our spine a necessity to protect ourselves from osteo-athritis, disc degeneration and chronic pain.
Here at Pinnacle, our team of chiropractors and physiotherapists work in conjunction to care for our patients suffering from disc conditions. Our targeted treatment protocols allow the disc tissue to heal naturally, whilst restoring function to the affected joint. Our practitioners then guide you through the process of maintaining optimal function and caring for your spine, so you can get back to doing the things you enjoy!
Lundon K, Bolton K. Structure and function of the lumbar intervertebral disk in health, aging, and pathologic conditions. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2001 Jun;31(6):291-303; discussion 304-6.