Degeneration of an intervertebral disc
A process which happens to everyone
Degeneration of an intervertebral disc is a normal process that happens to everyone, although some people will be affected more severely than others. However, a disc may also suffer a tear in its outer ring, through which the contents of the disc may be forced outwards, towards the spinal canal. Generally, the ring will tear in its weakest spot, which is the spot where an arm nerve branches off the spinal canal.
Anyone can suffer a hernia, and we do not know why some people are affected while others are not. However, it is known that some families are more prone to hernias than others. It is also known that smoking negatively affects the quality of the vertebrae and of the intervertebral discs.