Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - Great New Stuff -

Your spine has 23 in­ter­ver­te­bral discs between its ver­te­brae that act as shock ab­sorbers. Each disc has a thick, fi­brous outer layer and a gel-like cen­tre. When a disc gets too much pres­sure on one side, the gel pushes to­ward and can rup­ture the op­po­site side of the outer layer. That’s a herniated disc. It’s most preva­lent in men ages 30 to 50, and al­most al­ways in the lum­bar (lower) spine. It’s cer­tainly not the only cause of back pain, but it’s one of the most se­vere and sur­pris­ingly com­mon. Painful on its own, an un­lucky herniated disc can also press on nearby nerves for an ex­tra layer of hurt.

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