Lumbar Disc Functions & Composition

Posted on Healthcare By DoctorUna - Published on 2021-12-06


A lumbar disc is also known as the spinal disc. In the lumbar spine, there is a total of five intervertebral discs that are located in the middle of the vertebral body 

Main Functions of the Lumbar Discs:

  • Distributing the weight or load on the spine, offering shock absorption functions. 
  • Maintain accurate distance between the side vertebral bodies when there is movement 
  • Providing enough flexibility to the spinal cord and preventing any excess movements
  • Creating plus maintaining the C-shaped lordotic curve of the spine (lumbar) 

Specific characteristics of the lumbar intervertebral discs can be distinguished by their size, height, and shape. The size of the lumbar discs is quite thick, more from the front side than the back. Similarly, the lumbar discs tend to get shorter in the daytime due to the upper body weight. A good sleep of a minimum of six hours can help these discs regain their actual shape. Likewise, the shape or form of the disc may change with movement. 

Composition of the Lumbar Intervertebral Discs 

  • Annulus Fibrosus – The thick outer shell is known as the annulus fibrosus. It has many layers and is primarily made of strong collagen protein fibers. It has shock-absorbing qualities.
  • Nucleus Pulposus – It is a soft type of protein collagen that fills up the main part of the lumbar disc. It is made up of 90% water and remains so till the age of 30 years. Then dehydration and degeneration may begin to develop. 

As you age, the lumbar discs get hardened, calcified, and less flexible. The lumbar discs receive nutrition via the endplates. The discs absorb fluids when you perform spinal movements. Extreme postures like prolonged standing or sitting can suppress disc nutritional levels. 

Lumbar Disc Disorders 

Lumbar discs are responsible for providing your upper body flexibility and adequate protection. These discs are also very susceptible to all kinds of injuries and disc disorders, from a slipped disc or herniated disc, pinched nerve disorder, bulging disc, sciatica, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. 

You may find the best lumbar disc doctors in Dubai, UAE at DoctorUna, the free service medical platform in the Middle East. The interactive medical portal helps patients seek verified doctors and dentists, fix online appointments, and also send medical inquiries. Log on now! 


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DoctorUna.com launched in the United Arab Emirates in 2012, Egypt and Jordan in 2013 and recently in Kuwait in 2014. The purpose of DoctorUna is to allow patients to quickly search for doctors from across a broad range of specialties, compare them and easily book a convenient appointment. DoctorUna gives doctors access to a larger pool of patients, streamlines and better manages their appointment booking process so they can spend more time caring for patients.

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