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There are 23 total discs in the entire spinal column, and 6 of them are in the cervical spine. Each cervical disc rests between the cervical vertebrae, acts as a shock absorber in the cervical spine, and enables the neck to handle various stresses and loads.Composed of collagen and ligaments, the cervical discs also hold the cervical vertebrae together and allow for flexibility and different movements of the neck.

Each cervical disc has two basic components:

  • Outer layer.┬áThis tough exterior, called the annulus fibrosus, is comprised of collagen fibers that surround the inner core and distribute the forces placed on the structure.
  • Inner core.┬áThis soft jelly interior, called the nucleus pulposus, is a loose, fibrous network suspended in mucoprotein gel that is sealed by the annulus fibrosus.

The discs need to be well-hydrated in order to maintain their strength and softness to serve as the body’s major carrier of axial load.

Common conditions of cervical disc include cervical degenerative disc disease,cervical disc herniation, cervical disc prolapse and cervical disc injury.

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