A series of vertebrae that run from the base of the skull to the sacrum form the spinal column. Vertebrae are each connected one to another by two joints and a small cartilage pad, called the disc. Discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, allowing painless movement.
Discs are hard on the outside and spongy on the inside. The outer shell is a series of strong fibrous rings that protect the inside. The soft inner core of a disc is mostly water in youth and then becomes less hydrated with stress and injuries. The soft inner core of discs is what provides the needed shock absorber affect between the vertebrae.
Most typically, a disc injury occurs when trauma to a nearby vertebrae causes the vertebrae to become misaligned. The misaligned vertebrae distorts an adjacent disc and/or shifts its position. A misaligned vertebrae is termed a Subluxation. Whether the disc changes position or changes shape, its movement can cause it to come into contact with nearby nerves or the spinal cord, resulting in varying degrees of back pain. Three types of disc injury can occur: