What is the function of the salt bridge

At the latest when diagnosing one Herniated disc it is important this ingenious shock absorbers for your spine to get to know better once. Have you ever wondered what exactly the function of the intervertebral disc actually is? Then you are exactly right here. What your intervertebral discs with Astronauts in space have to do with how they are supplied with nutrients and why your intervertebral discs are extremely resilient, you will find out in this article.

Much more than a disc

So that you can rough overview can provide, let's start with the Structure and location of your intervertebral discs. Your intervertebral discs (or Intervertebral disc) always lie between two adjacent vertebral bodies of your spine. Doing so is their main job Pressure and bumpscaused, for example, by running, hopping or simple movement, intercept. This is how they protect, for example your brain from violent shocks. The resulting weights are evenly distributed over your spine distributed.

In addition, it is the function of the intervertebral disc together with the small vertebral joints supple and extensive mobility of your spine to make possible [1,2].

Basically you can put your intervertebral disc in three components split up [1]:

  • onecentrally located gelatinous core (Nucleus pulposus) (1 *)
  • oneouter fiber ring (Anulus fibrosus) (2 *)
  • two cartilaginous cover plates (3 *)

It's not just the inner values ​​that count

The inner core of your intervertebral disc is made up of up to85% water and has oneslimy and thick consistency. A bit likeGelatin. So it does not have a fixed form, but changes depending on the pressure. That makes him ideal buffer [3.4].

In 2-year-old children, the inner core of the disc is actually made up of fluid, like water. If you cut through the outer fiber ring, the liquid flows out and you can use it wipe away with a cloth. But with advancing age, the inner core always becomes firmer and grainier [3,4].

The outer fibrous ring (annulus fibrosus) of your intervertebral discs consists of several lamellar layersthat are placed in circles around the inner nucleus (nucleus pulposus). Within these lamellae there are, in turn, many strong connective tissue-like fibers that pull in all directions [3, 4].

Sometimes up to 150 kilograms act on our lower lumbar spine, for example when sneezing or coughing [2].

But no fear. This ingenious and extremely resistant system can withstand even complex and heavy weights wonderfully [3,4]. In addition, the intervertebral disc lies like a sandwich between two cartilaginous plates and the bones of your vertebral bodies [1].

Nothing jumps out and nothing slips

However, the intervertebral disc is different from a sandwich Immovably fused with the cartilaginous cover plates and the bones of your vertebral bodies. In addition, it is also still with corresponding back and front Straps reinforced [2,3,4].

So, don't listen to people who claim their intervertebral disc has popped out or slipped. This is not possible. Your intervertebral disc stays where it is.

Only the outer fiber ring can become brittle and on Lose tension. In some cases this causes the inner core fluid to leak out. That's what you call one disc prolapse (more on this in the article linked here). Basically, your intervertebral disc is an extremely stable system that can withstand even the strongest of violence. So it happens with such external violence, more likely to cause a fracture of the vertebral body than an injury to the intervertebral disc [3].

Your intervertebral discs are hungry

Unlike muscles, bones and other connective tissue is missing the inner core of the intervertebral disc its own vascular supply system. Of course, your intervertebral disc still needs it Nutrients and oxygen. Also must produced garbage, such as old cells, again be transported away. For this reason, your body makes use of two mechanisms from physics: diffusion and osmosis. Put simply, this means: it comes to you pressure-dependent fluid exchange between your intervertebral disc and its surroundings [3,4].

So experiences the intervertebral disc print, for example, if we are sitting then will Fluid squeezed out of the intervertebral disc: Waste materials can be transported away. Conversely, if the intervertebral discs be relieved, for example when lying down, the intervertebral disc fills up new fluid and nutrients [3,4].

Change of position - the little snack for your intervertebral discs

That means there is a magic cure for a healthy and stress-resistant intervertebral disc: Move. Whenever you change your position the pressure changes on your intervertebral discs. That means when you move you feed your intervertebral disc and thus help to maintain the important function of the intervertebral disc.

Don't starve your intervertebral disc, pay attention a lot of exercise in your everyday life.

At the latest after 30 minutes in one position absolutely must Move (come from sitting to walking, for example). And at least every few minutes small micro-movements should take place (for example, shift your weight from left to right) [5,6].

If you have a hard time, this one Exercise breaks and the active sitting you can really implement that 8clip bring to the office. This clip gives you Feedback about how much you move. Additionally motivated if you stay in one position for too long again, he'll get you through fine vibrations for more movement.

What you learned about the function of the intervertebral disc in this article

You now know that your intervertebral discs can neither slip nor jump out. Because it is firmly fused with the vertebral body through ligaments and connective tissue fibers. You have also learned that your intervertebral disc will literally starve to death if you don't regularly feed it through exercise. Hurray, you are now a real disc expert.

To know better

Due to the pressure of everyday life, every person loses about 1.7 cm in body size throughout the day due to the fluid decrease in their intervertebral discs. This is also due to our gravity, among other things. Scientists were able to prove that astronauts on the Skylab 4 gained more than 4 cm in height during their stay in weightless space. However, this effect immediately regressed as soon as the astronauts were back on earth [4].

Important NOTE:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.

[1] Schünke, M.; Schulte, E .; Schumacher, U. (2007): Prometheus. LernAtlas der Anatomie. 2nd edition Stuttgart: Georg Thieme Verlag.

[2] Streeck, U .; Focke, J .; Klimpel, L .; Noack, D. (2007): Manual Therapy and Complex Rehabilitation. Volume 2: Lower Body Regions. Heidelberg: Springer Medicine Verlag.

[3] Frost, B .; Camarero-Espinosa, S .; Foster, E. (2019): Materials for the Spine: Anatomy, Problems, Solutions. In: materials (Basel). 12 (2): 253.

[4] Kramer, R .; Matussek, J .; Theodoridis, T. (2013): Diseases caused by intervertebral discs. Causes, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, assessment. 6th edition. Stuttgart: Georg Thieme Verlag.

[5] Sorensen, C.J .; Norton, B.J .; Callaghan, J.B .; Hwang, C.T .; Van Dillen, L.R .: Is lumbar lordosis related to low back pain development during prolonged standing? Man. Ther., 20 (2015): 553-557.

[6] Womersley, L .; May, S .: Sitting posture of subjects with postural backache. J. Manip. Physiol. Ther., 29 (2006): 213-218.