Between the vertebrae of your spine are 23 discs, which act as a spacer and shock absorber. These discs have soft, gel-like centres surrounded by layers of fibrous tissues. Sometimes, due to an injury or just ageing, the material in the middle of a disc pushes to one side or even ruptures. Many people will have heard the term 'slipped disc' but this is a rather inaccurate name, as discs actually cannot slip. They can wear, bulge or herniate. Where it occurs: Bulging or herniated discs can appear in the Neck (Cervical Spine), Low Back (Lumbar Spine) and middle and upper back (Thoracic Spine).
Since spinal discs have a poor blood supply, they depend upon the circulation of joint fluids to bring in nutrients and expel waste. If a spinal joint loses its normal motion and this pumping action is impaired, the health of the disc deteriorates. Like a wet sponge, a healthy disc is flexible. A dry sponge is hard, stiff, and can crack easily.
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