The disc is a small cartilage pad that is situated between spinal bones. The soft jellylike center is contained by layers of fibrous tissues. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. When healthy, discs allow normal bending and turning.
Since spinal discs have a very poor blood supply, they depend upon the circulation of joint fluids to bring 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. This is how many disc problems begin. When discs are put under excessive strain they can become displaced.
Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebra above and below it, a disc cannot "slip" as commonly thought. However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to bulge, herniate, or worse, rupture. Lifting may produce forces, which can cause a lumbar intervertebral disk to move out of place. This can be quite painful, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots, interfering with their function.
While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing conservative chiropractic care.