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What are spinal disks?

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Spinal disks are rubbery pads between the vertebrae, the specialized bones that make up the spinal column. Doctors call them intervertebral disks. Each disk is a flat, circular capsule about an inch in diameter and one-quarter inch thick. They have a tough, fibrous, outer membrane and an elastic core.

They're firmly embedded between the vertebrae and are held in place by the ligaments connecting the spinal bones and the surrounding sheaths of muscle. There's little, if any, room for disks to slip or move. The points on which the vertebrae turn and move are called facet joints, which stick out like arched wings on either side of the rear part of the vertebrae.

SOURCES: 

Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc. 

The Mayo Clinic.

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 21, 2017

SOURCES: 

Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc. 

The Mayo Clinic.

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 21, 2017

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How do spinal disks change with age?

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