Intervertebral Discs and their role
The spine is made up of bones (vertebrae), each one separated by a strong shock absorbing cushion called the intervertebral disc. The role of the disc is to act as an energy converter so as to transmit kinetic energy throughout the torso. This helps in the function of the spine to act as a rigid brace where the spine needs to be a stiff fulcrum but also where the spine needs to act as a coil thus increasing the power of the arms and legs.
There are 7 cervical (neck) vertebrae, 12 thoracic (chest) vertebrae, 5 lumbar (lower back) vertebrae, 5 sacral vertebrae and a coccyx. Disc herniations can appear at the cervical, thoracic and lumbar levels; lumbar and cervical spines are the most frequently affected.