Pearl #7 – Time For You To Understand How Your Spine Works

This might seem like a small aspect of spinal health but it is massively important. The information that I am presenting in these ‘Pearls’ will gradually build so that you will really learn how to care not only for your health but importantly, for that of your family.

If you want to look after something, you need to know how it works. So, that being said, there is little surprise that spinal problems abound! Do you know how your spine works?

Today it’s the discs that we touch on … your ‘Intervertebral Discs’. As the name suggests, these are the vital discs or spacers between the vertebrae or bones of your spine.

Why are discs so important? Well, let’s look at two of their basic roles.

1. They keep the bones apart so the important spinal joints don’t wear out

If you are getting low back pain which makes it more comfortable if you lean forward, then the chances are your lower discs are wearing out and

the bones are coming together …. ouch!

2. They allow you to move!

The bones are solid and so don’t bend themselves. All your bending in your spine happens because of the discs. We must try and keep as much movement in all the individual discs as they don’t have a direct blood supply.

No movement = no nutrition to discs = cell death

If your back is stiff, then alarm bells should be going off.

Remember that the discs, if healthy, keep the bones apart. This is vital as, if the discs degenerate, they start to bulge and interfere with the nerve roots feeding your vital organs where they leave the spine. Often they squeeze the spinal cord itself.

In this neck X-ray, we can clearly see that a problem in the neck has led to disc degeneration. The affected disc has turned black which means it has dried out due to poor shape and movement resulting in loss of blood supply.

And because of the forward head, the failing disc has been pushed backwards into the spinal cord.

Of course, 10 years of neck pain warned that this was coming and the point here is, that the earlier the problem is recognised and dealt with, the easier and more inexpensive the fix.


Your disc health is very important. All those stooped people you see everywhere on the streets have disc degeneration and for many, their posture was the cause.

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin

Tim Errington BSc DC
Total Health Chiropractic
Tel: +65 6224 6326

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