Disc Herniation(s): Causes and Resolution
The intervertebral disc is located between the vertebra. Each disc has a gel-type center called the nucleus pulposus that is surrounded by a dense network of dense fibrous tissue. . These outer fibers are termed the annulus fibrosus. Their function is to restrict movement of the gel. . It is in the region of these annular fibers where all disc injuries begin.
The functions of the disc are to facilitate spinal movement, absorb the shock of impact as well as separating the vertebra and binding the adjacent vertebra.
Mechanism of injury
A disc injury can be associated with trauma. However, more commonly, there is a gradual tearing of the annular fibers and subsequent migration of the nucleus into the torn area. A greater degree of migration results in increased pressure. This can be extremely painful and accompanied by arm or leg symptoms. Disc lesions range from mild to severe. Disc lesions can be referred to as bulging, protrusions, herniations, or prolapse. The MRI image below shows disc material extending behind the back of the vertebra. The "bubble" is a herniation. Click here for treatment options