Degenerative spine conditions are the result of the loss of normal structure and function of the spine, typically due to age. The spine is made up of a complex series of muscles, vertebrae, ligaments, and discs – components that naturally deteriorate over time. The discs are particularly important because they are designed to act as shock absorbers for the spine. In addition to allowing for spinal flexibility, the discs prevent the bony vertebrae from grinding against one another.
Consequently, when the spinal discs deteriorate, they become less effective. Because the spine is a narrow column filled with sensitive nerve tissue, any change in the structural integrity or placement of the discs can potentially impinge upon adjacent spinal nerves, which is often the underlying cause of painful degenerative spine symptoms.