The intervertebral disc is an important aspect of the spinal column. Even though there are 24 veretbrae within the human spine there are only 23 discs. This is due to the fact that the first two cervical vertebrae do not have a disc separating them. The construction of the disc is made up of two parts; a tough outer layer and soft inner core. The make-up of the intervertebral disc is usually likened to that of a jelly donut. The ‘crust’ outer surface is known as the annular fibers and is made up of collagen fibers. While the ‘jelly-like’ center also known as the nucleus pulposus is made up of protein gel.
The main purpose of an intervertebral disc is to be a shock absorber for the vertebral bones. They allow for compression and mobility of the vertebrae without the pain full rubbing of the bones together. Like the shocks in our car when going over bumps, our intervertebral discs are meant to keep us from feeling every “bump and pothole”. When we are born our discs are made up of almost 80% of water, but as we age the water decreases and can be one of the factors that lead to degeneration. Some other factors that increase disc degeneration is work activities, recreational activities and posture. Posture is a huge contributor on how much stress the discs receive while performing work and/or recreational activities. If you are interested in learning more about the subject you should consider talking to the chiropractors at Apex Medical Group.