Advertisement

Why are disc problems common in older people?

Eric Olsen
Fitness
An intervertebral disk is rather like a stale jelly-filled donut: It consists of a tough outer layer (the annulus) with a soft jelly-like interior. Disks are incredibly durable, but there are limits to the abuse they can take. Disks rarely go bad all at once, however. Rather, poor posture, pushing the joints past their range, lifting heavy objects carelessly, excessive rotating movements, and repeated shocks to the spine create microscopic tears in the fibers of the annulus. Over time, these tears accumulate and the annulus weakens and begins to bulge or even tears completely, pressing on the root of nerves where they leave the spinal cord. Thus older adults are more prone to disk disease than younger adults because they've had more time for these microtears to accumulate.
Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life

More About this Book

Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life

An easy-to-follow programme for lengthening and improving lives. More than an exercise guide, this text is an effective tool for making meaningful lifestyle decisions to benefit long-term fitness. In...

Continue Learning about Aging, Bone & Joint Conditions

How can older women promote bone health?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Take bio-identical hormone replacement including estrogen, and/or if you want to build stronger bone...
More Answers
What is the link between wrinkles and bone health?
Arthur W. Perry, MDArthur W. Perry, MD
Your skin is the bag that holds all of you together, and your bones give you stability and prote...
More Answers
Does Osteoarthritis Occur Automatically as We Age?
Does Osteoarthritis Occur Automatically as We Age?
Is Your Back Pain Osteoarthritis?
Is Your Back Pain Osteoarthritis?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.