Disk – Problems

Overview

Intervertebral disc is referred to by the abbreviation “disc.” The spongy cushions that divide the spine’s bones are these (vertebrae). Discs absorb trauma, maintain the stability of the spine, and offer ‘pivot points’ for movement of the vertebrae.

An elastic outer layer known as the “annulus fibrosis” and an interior, jelly-like component known as the “nucleus pulposus” make up a disc. Within the disc core, the “inner jelly” is encased and held in place by the outer shell.

Discs are capable of withstanding a large amount of pressure or weight. However, some pressures might stretch the outer shell and irritate it. This may occasionally force its contents outside. It is referred to as disc protrusion.

 

Disc changes take place throughout the course of our lifetime as connective tissues deteriorate with ageing and the spine’s structures adjust to the physical demands of daily living. Even in healthy individuals without back discomfort, these “age-related” or “degenerative alterations” may be visible on a back scan or x-ray. Normal, frequent aging-related alterations include disc bulges, disc space constriction (or disc height reduction), and disc dehydration.

 

Symptoms

┬áThe location and intensity of an inflamed disc might affect the symptoms. As discs fluctuate with age and use, back scans are sometimes useless for establishing whether a person’s back discomfort is caused by a disc problem. However, some signs might be:

  • back pain
  • increased back pain when repetitively bending or with prolonged sitting
  • increased back pain with coughing, sneezing, laughing or straining
  • pain, numbness or pins-and-needles radiating into an arm or leg if a disc has caused irritation of a nearby nerve.