These discs act as shock absorbers in the spine. They hold the spine together and also allow movement, such as twisting, to occur. Each disc is comprised of an outer fiber ring called the anulus fibrosis disci intervertebralis. The inner ring is gel-like and is called the nucleus pulposus. The only vertebra that do not have a disc in between them are the first 2 vertebrae.
Over time, these discs wear down. In turn, this leads to disc degeneration – which happens to everyone at some point in their life. This can sometimes become a painful condition where bone-on-bone grinding, between vertebra, occurs. Another common condition is a herniated disc, where the disc’s inner area bulges out. Frequently, this causes pain and may also compress certain nerves.