💭 We wanted to share some information about the spine and the intervertebral discs, the importance of why they are there and what happens to them during injury. We are not experts in this field, however we want to share some correct terminology that can help your understanding. 🤔 Between each vertebra in the spine, apart from the first 2 vertebrae in the neck, there is an intervertebral disc. This disc acts as a shock absorber and distributor and helps with movement of the spine. ⭕ A disc is made up from the anulus fibrosus, a tire-like structure that has several overlapping layers. This surrounds the nucleus pulposus, the jelly-like core of the disc.
🔍 Let's take a closer look into what happens when injury occurs. ⚠️ There are numerous reasons why discs can herniate. Discs cannot ‘slip’, so here are some definitions and reasons that lead to disc herniation: ❗ Disk degeneration – Naturally occurs, often due to ageing or repetitive overuse. The disc breaks down or deteriorates and cracks. It becomes thinner and less fluid-like and therefore is less of a cushion and shock absorber. ❗ Disc prolapse – Often occurs in the lumbar spine, the inner part of the disc (nucleus pulposus) bulges out through a weakness in the outer part of the disc (anulus fibrosus). This may press on the nearby nerve root and often inflammation develops. Again, this can develop through ageing or overuse activities, but also can occur from awkward, unnatural or heavy moving/lifting. ❗ Disc extrusion – Occurs when the outer part of the disc (anulus fibrosus) ruptures and allows the inner part of the disc (nucleus pulposus) to squeeze out. This can also put pressure on the nerve root and inflammation can develop. Often develops from similar causes as the disc prolapse, from ageing or repetitive activities. As well as heavy, unnatural or awkward movements. 😤 Any type of disc herniation can be debilitating. However, it is not the end of the world if one of these conditions occurs. Surgery can be an option to help correct the herniation. But with patience, caution and a good Sports Therapist 😉 symptoms can be manageable.
🤔 If you think you have a disc herniation, or you already know you do, get into contact to see how we can help you! 📩👍