We all know spinal discs are important -- but to understand why, the real question is… what are they made of? Simply put, your spinal discs are the little cushions that sit between the 24 moveable bones (vertebrae) in your spine and act as a small swivel, enabling your spine to move in all directions.
Each disc is made up of a tough, fibrous outer layer (annulus fibrosis) and a jelly-like inner layer (nucleus pulposus). The tough outer layer contains and protects the softer inside layer.
Why it Matters:
A disc’s inner layer is mostly made up of water and that high water content helps keep it supple and moveable. However, as you get older, your discs tend to lose their high water content, which can lead to degeneration.
Degenerative discs don't move as well, are more prone to cause pain, and can even contribute to the compression of your spinal nerves.
Movement is one of the best ways to keep your spinal discs healthy.
Since the spinal discs don't have a good blood supply, movement is how they bring in nutrients and water. Those nutrients help the discs stay healthy and push out waste that can contribute to pain and inflammation.
Intervertebral Disc: Anatomy-Physiology – Pathophysiology -Treatment. Pain Practice. 2000.