Have you ever experienced back pain? Did you know that's one of the most common health
complaints in the US? Each day about 31 million Americans report having back pain, and a lot
of it comes from spinal disc issues.
Why it Matters:
Your spinal disc is a complex piece of cartilage that sits between the vertebrae (bones) that
make up your spine. Your discs have two parts. The tough outer portion, called the annulus
fibrosus, is made up of collagen fibers. The inside of the disc is called the nucleus pulposus,
which is gel-like. The discs have three main functions: to absorb shock, hold the vertebrae of
the spine together, and allow flexibility of the spinal column.
Back pain and other symptoms can occur if the disc is damaged or pressing on your spinal
nerves. The following are some common disc problems.
Types of Spinal Disc Problems
● Herniated Discs - A herniated disc is often called a slipped or ruptured disc. Symptoms
depend on what part of the spine is affected and usually only occur on one side of the
body. Patients describe a burning, sharp, stabbing, or shooting pain with specific
movements. Some people experience numbness, tingling, or weakness if there's spinal
● Degenerative Disc Disease - When one or more spinal discs break down, often due to
age and injury, pain can result. Over time, your spinal discs become worn and lose their
rubbery texture. It's unable to act as a shock absorber, and flexibility can become limited.
Does Your Back Hurt? Back pain can significantly impact your activities and active lifestyle. If
you’ve experienced back pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness, give us a call. These
symptoms may be a sign that you have a spinal disc problem.
Herniated Lumbar Disc. BMJ 2011