Mechanisms of Disc Degeneration and Back Pain

Inflammation around herniated disc and nerve roots

When intervertebral discs wear out, the annulus develops cracks and the nucleus can herniate out these crack, like the jelly squeezing out through a hole in the donut. Our bodies see the nucleus as a foreign body and attack it by sending cells to gobble it up. These cells release inflammatory chemicals  that cause inflammation around the nerves, which can cause back/leg pain, numbness and/or weakness. In addition, the inflamed nerves make the muscles go into spasm. That is what causes the neck and low back pain.