We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

Dehydrated disc disease

Updated April 17, 2017

A disc is actually cartilage that lies in between spinal vertebrae in the back and neck. These discs contain a jellylike fluid called pulposus that helps cushion the spinal column. Certain injuries, habits and conditions can cause dehydration disease in the spinal discs and fluid.

Loading ...


An injury to certain discs such as those in the lumbar (lower back) and cervical (neck) area can be caused by an injury such as a herniated disc, which can cause the annulus or outer covering or the disc to crack, according to the South African Spine Society. Consequently, fluid from a ruptured disc can exert pressure on nerves, causing pain and numbness in the spine and extremities.


A person's disc fluid can naturally dehydrate as they get older. Conditions such as spinal osteoarthritis can expedite dehydration because of certain vertebral deformities.

Other Causes

Smoking is known to cause degenerative disc disease and disc dehydration. When a disc dehydrates because of cigarette smoking, the cushion between vertebrae diminishes. This can cause a thickening of ligaments and pain from nerve compression.


Doctors can identify degenerative disc disease through MRI scans. These diseased discs are known as "black discs," which can also be detected through discography, an X-ray performed after an injection of contrasting media.


Doctors often recommend anti-inflammatory medications and exercise for people with disc dehydration. A person can also undergo traction therapy to replace disc fluid.

Loading ...

About the Author

Rick Suttle
Loading ...
Loading ...