Greetings from your caring friends here at Hackettstown's Village Family Clinic! If you suffer chronic or systemic back pain, read on. We want to help as living with back pain absolutely is robbing you of quality of life.
Some back pain treatments can be worse than the disorder. Maybe your prescribed drugs have terrible side effects. Maybe you worry (and rightfully so) that you might become addicted to medications that are supposed to help you. Maybe you’ve had surgery that simply didn’t work, or perhaps has made things even worse. You might have disc problems that very well can be taken care of without drugs or surgery.
A disc problem is a root cause of back pain. Discs are the little shock absorbers and spacers of the spine. A human body has 23 discs -- 6 in the neck, 12 in the mid back, and 5 in the lower back. The 2 primary functions of the discs are to space the bones, or vertebrae apart, and to be the body’s shock absorbers. A disc has 2 parts; an inner part that is very liquid like jelly (Nucleus Pulposus), and an outer part that holds it all together (Annulus Fibrosus).
As we age, several things can happen with our discs. The jelly inner part gets harder and harder, which makes a person less flexible and can no longer move or bend like they used to. This makes them more prone to injury. Also, as the inner part dries out, it gets thinner. So if all 23 discs thin out, this probably explains why a person gets shorter as they become older.
Another interesting fact about our discs, they are the only part of the human body with no nerve and blood supply. What does this mean? It means nobody can feel their disc. So when a person says he slipped a disc, and the disc hurts; that is not exactly true. When a disc bulges or herniates, the disc typically presses on a nerve, which causes the pain.
In addition to having no nerves, our discs also have no blood supply. For example, if a person cuts his skin, blood will flow there and it will easily heal. But if a person injures his disc, no blood will flow there, making it difficult to heal. This explains why a disc injury will not get better on its own.