Normal Disc of Spine

The best piece of engineering is-human spine. It is rigid- supports the torso. Keeps us straight. The spine is supple. It can move in all directions. Helps us to bend on any side. These all movements are possible because of the structure of the spine. The spine comprises bones. These bones articulate through facet joints and are separated by discs. Spinal Discs are unique in many ways. How does a normal disc looks like, will ensure our knowledge about spinal disc problems? There are twenty-three discs in a normal human spine: six in the neck (cervical region), twelve in the middle back (thoracic region), and five in the lower back (lumbar region).

Normal Disc of Spine

In a normal spinal disc, the outer layer of tissue (annulus fibrosus) and the inner core of specialized cells and chemical components (nucleus pulposus) are arranged in a delicate balance. This structural arrangement creates two distinct compartments: an inner “hydrostatic” compartment that is responsible for providing nourishment to the specialized cells and chemical components of the disc nucleus; and an outer “pressure” compartment that is responsible for providing structural support to the spine.

The spinal discs are encased in round, biconcave-shaped structures called vertebral bodies. The vertebral body serves a dual purpose – not only does it protect the spinal cord (which sits within its center) but also provides stability to the spine by transmitting loading stress through itself to its adjacent vertebrae.

The contribution of each individual disc varies slightly depending on its location along the spine. However, generally speaking, there are three main types of spinal discs:

Compression- Resilient Discs (Cervical Vertebrae)

This type of disc allows the spine to bend forward and backward. In all other positions of movement, however, they provide minimal support because they have little structural integrity (stiffness). These are located in the cervical spine.

Compression- Resistant Discs (Thoracic & Lumbar Vertebrae)

This type of disc allows some bending in all directions, but provides very little additional support. Instead these discs primarily transfer the majority of the stress that their vertebral body transmits to their adjacent vertebrae through a process called “compression”. These are the discs in Thoracic and Lumbar region.

Tension-Resistant Discs (Sacral & Coccygeal Vertebrae)

These specialized spinal discs act more as small anchors than shock absorbers when subjected to axial loading. Because they are relatively small, this tends to cause the spine to deform instead of flexing (flexion and extension). In other words they create a rigid bending which can be damaging over time.

There are two parts of a normal disc.

Annular Fibres

This firm outer layer of tissue surrounds a normal spinal disc’s core like a tire that completely covers a car’s inner tube or like a hard candy shell surrounding soft interior chewy insides – hence the term “fibrous ring”. The annulus contains collagen type 1 & 2, proteoglycans and non-collagenous proteins.

The annulus is an integral component of a healthy disc because it provides critical support to the vertebral body above and below it. It prevents excessive bending from occurring at each end of the spine which could otherwise reduce the space available for spinal discs and potentially cause a pinched nerve or herniated disc. The matrix of this tissue also allows water to pass freely in and out which helps return nutrients back to tissues that need them. For more information on this process see Water transport.

Nucleus Pulposus

At the center of the disc is a gel-like core called nucleus pulposis. This highly specialized tissue helps to create two distinct zones within the spinal disc – an inner “hydrostatic region” and outer “pressure” zone (also known as the annulus). These three regions are connected by central tissue that acts like a rubber band.

The nucleus pulposus consists of about 80% water and 20% polysaccharide molecules. There are also small concentrations of proteoglycans, non-collagenous proteins, steroids, unsaturated fatty acids including omega 3s and 6s) and proteoglycan aggregates that change in proportion depending on spinal position. The water content and composition of a healthy nucleus is consistent and the ratio of water to other components is crucial.

The nucleus serves as an important source of nutrients for its surrounding tissue. It produces and delivers high concentrations of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), vitamins, glucose, fatty acids, and growth factors. These molecules are critical in maintaining the health of cells within the disc.

Endplates of the Vertebrae

Endplates are the areas in the vertebrae that line up with the space between one vertebra and another. These junctions provide surfaces that attach to ligaments, other bones, and muscles. The pressure on these end plates can be increased by a variety of factors. When there is excessive force on the spine, it can cause stress fractures or dislocation within discs and joints in your spine. Over time, this continual wear on certain structures from excess pressure may lead to arthritis due to calcium deposits forming around damaged tissues.

How does a Normal Disc of Spine Herniate

When there is extra pressure or strain on the spinal disc. This pressure, starts pressurising the jelly. Due to the pressure, blood arteries suppling nutrition to the jelly- starts decaying. This decay leads to loss of “flexibility” of the nucleus pulposus and this jelly first shifts to the sides. Where the resultant of pressure will build- jelly will disloc

protrusion of a normal disc of spine

ate or slip in same side. The first step is bulged disc and later on same herniates- as shown in the image-

You can see that the inner part which is located in centre of the disc. Is shifting to the side. This happens because of the pressure. The second image is Bulged Disc and third is the stage of herniated disc.

So main culprit in all this is not the disc, at all. This is the pressure on the disc which causes the problem of the disc. That is the reason at Sukhayu Ayurved we only work on the possibilities of the treatment based on the root cause of the problem.

Can Ayurveda Restore the Disc in Normal Position?

This is a normal question among patients of slip disc that whether their disc will return to the normal place after the treatment. Most of the people will say- NO. But because luckily you are at Sukhayu Ayurveda so you can get your disc in place for sure. We have documented results for the same. YES YOUR DISC WILL RETURN TO NORMAL at Sukhayu Ayurved, Jaipur. This is possible because of the proper care of the patients and a scientific approach of the treatment with us.

We do treatment, according to the condition that is why we have more profound results in Ayurveda category and it makes Sukhayu most reliable, effective, trusted place for slip disc treatment in ayurveda. The success stories of spinal disc patients are evident of these changes with us. You can join the same list with Sukhayu Ayurved, you just need to contact us for that…. So that your life will be pain free.

Don’t just kill the pain. Get your disc back in place.