As we all know, the most common causes of back pain and sciatica have to do with the discs throughout the spine. A lot has been written about Herniated Discs, Bulging Discs, and Degenerated Discs, and how they happen. But we rarely discuss the discs themselves, and what they are made of. So we will do that now.
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We know that the discs act as a cushion to provide support for the spine, as well as allowing better movement. Not surprisingly, the majority of a disc is water. It is a vital part of the disc, because it both brings nutrients into the disc and also removes waste from the disc. Other than water, the rest of the disc is made up of collagen and a sponge-like material.
The inner part of the disc is called the nucleus. It is made up of around 70-90% water, and when healthy the nucleus is similar to gelatin, able to move around freely and provide support and cushioning as needed. However, when degeneration first begins in the disc the nucleus will start to become something more like toothpaste and not be able to move as freely as before, which means less support for the spine. The more degeneration there is, the less support, which can ultimately lead to back pain.
The outer portion of the disc is called the annulus, and is about 60-70% water. The annulus is made up of 10 to 12 rings, with the outer rings being more tough and the inner rings being more elastic. Its main purpose is to protect the nucleus while also allowing it to move around freely. Movement of the nucleus is contained by fibers in the annulus, and when these fibers degenerate and tear they alter that movement, which leads to less cushioning and support.
At The Illinois Back Institute we are dedicated to educating people, because we know that the more that you understand about your problem, the more likely you are to eliminate it!
If you would like to schedule a Free Back Pain Consultation, you can give us a call at 844-408-0462 or click here:
Also, if you would like to learn more about your back pain, or would like to know more about what we do and how our treatment works, we regularly hold Free Educational Seminars at each one of our clinics! To find out when the next seminar is and reserve a seat, click here:
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