Discs behave like spongy water balloons separating the numerous bones that make up our spine. They are critical for efficient force and shock absorption and therefore protect our spine from damage.
Although discs are designed to absorb and dissipate forces they can become damaged if they are overloaded with sustained and excessive pressure.
This damage often happens over time and is usually caused by poor sitting posture or heavy lifting. Desk or labour intensive jobs can therefore be a risk factor for disc injury.
Subject to sustained pressure over time i.e. sitting slouched at a desk, the discs can weaken or loose some of their water content, becoming less spongy and less efficient at their job as shock absorbers.
If this occurs the spine is at risk of joint damage or a “slipped”/prolapsed disc. This is when the weakness of the disc and the loading on the disc causes some of the gooey middle to bulge or be pushed out. When severe enough, this can cause irritation to local nerves resulting in arm or leg pain i.e. Sciatica.