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 Conditions and
 Treatments of the
SPINE

 

The spine is a column that is made of up bones and discs. The blocks of bone (or vertebrae) provide the anterior support and structure of the spine. Posteriorly, the two facet joints at each level provide stability and movement of the motion segment. The spinal discs are in between the bones and act like a cushion or “shock absorber” between the vertebrae. The discs also contribute to the flexibility and motion of the spinal column. The discs are made up of two parts: 1) the inner portion of the disc is called the nucleus pulposus and is a jelly-like material 2) the outer part of the disc is a stronger, more fibrous, material called the annulus fibrosus. The annulus fibrosus surrounds and supports the inner jelly material. The annulus is also in contact with nerve fibers or pain receptors, called nociceptors. Disc material is primarily composed of water and other proteins. As a normal part of aging, the water content gradually diminishes which can cause the disc to flatten out and even develop tears or cracks throughout the annulus fibrosus. These discs are often referred to as “degenerative”discs and may or may not cause pain.

SOURCE: Spine Universe

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