The age-related disease occurs when discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column deteriorates. Could you be affected? Read on to find out.
Normally, the rubbery discs allow for flexing and bending of the back – acting as shock absorbers – confirmed Medical News Today.
In time, however, they can become worn down and not offer as much protection as before.
The condition could cause such intense back pain that the affected person is unable to carry out day-to-say activities.
Also known as spinal discs, the outer part is tough and fibrous, consisting of several overlapping layers; the inner core of spinal discs are soft and gelatinous.
As people age, the fluid found in intervertebral discs decreases, making the disc thinner.
This causes the distance between vertebrae in the spine become smaller, so it becomes less effective acting as a cushion.
Small tears and cracks may develop in the outer layer of the disc, meaning the soft inner layer can seep through the cracks.
Once a diagnosis has been given by your GP, you may be advised to fulfil certain exercises to strengthen the discs and increase mobility.
Usually, exercises that build the back and stomach muscles will be recommended.
Examples of these include swimming, cycling and walking, and core strengthening activities may be included, such as pilates.
Patients who don’t respond to conservative treatment within three months may need to consider surgery.