Spine is very important part of body and very complex structure too , now a days problems related to spine growing like anything , degeneration in early age is one of the major issue which create more complication over a period of time .
Most commonly affected structure of spine due to degeneration is intervertebral disc. Over time, these repeated daily movements like standing , sitting , bending and minor injuries can add up and begin to affect the discs in your spine. Minor injuries to the disc may occur and not cause pain at the time of the injury.
With degenerative disc disease, the main problem lies within one or more of the intervertebral discs. Intervertebral disc is a soft disc like structure between each of the vertebra in your spine. The intervertebral discs are designed to absorb pressure and keep the spine flexible by acting as cushions during body movement. The discs are similar to shock absorbers. Without the cushion effect of the discs, the vertebrae in your spine would not be able to absorb stresses, or provide the movement needed to bend and twist. Bones cannot sustain high stress repeatedly without being damaged. Much of the mechanical stress of everyday movements is transferred to the discs.
A healthy intervertebral disc has a great deal of water in the nucleus pulposus – the center portion of the disc. The water content gives the nucleus a spongy quality and allows it to absorb spinal stress. Excessive pressure or injuries to the disc can cause the injury to the annulus – the outer ring of tough ligament material that holds the vertebrae together. Generally, the annulus is the first portion of the disc that seems to be injured. Small tears show up as in the ligament material of the annulus. These tears heal by scar tissue. The scar tissue is not as strong as normal ligament tissue. Over time, as more scar tissue forms, the annulus becomes weaker. Eventually this can lead to damage of the nucleus pulposus. The nucleus begins to lose its water content due to the damage – it begins to dry up.
Because of water loss, the discs lose some of their ability to act as a cushion. This can lead to even more stress on the annulus and still more tears as the cycle repeats itself. As the nucleus loses its water content it collapses, allowing the two vertebrae above and below to move closer to one another. This results in a narrowing of the disc space between the two vertebrae. As this shift occurs, the facet joints located at the back of the spine are forced to shift. This shift changes the way the facet joints work together and can cause problems in the facet joints as well.
Bone spurs, sometimes called osteophytes, may begin to form around the disc space. These bones spurs can also form around the facet joints. This is thought to be due to the body’s response to try to stop the excess motion at the spinal segment. The bone spurs can become a problem if they start to grow into the spinal canal and press into your spinal cord and nerves. This condition is called spinal stenosis
It is vitally important to drink plenty of water as part of a healthy diet to nourish the entire body, which is comprised of about 60% to 70% water. Drinking water to stay well hydrated allows nutrients to travel to the major organs in the body, helps remove waste and helps protect joints and organs.
So Water is also very important for the spine and back. As intervertebral discs consist largely of water (at birth, discs are about eighty percent water, although this usually declines with age). Therefore, keeping the body well hydrated by drinking water regularly is important to nourish the spinal discs and help keep them healthy.