When we overtax our backs through poor posture, heavy physical work or being overweight, we can actually wear away the intervertebral discs. The result is a decrease in the thickness of the spine’s "shock absorbers" and their loss of the ability to perform their function. Sometimes, in an attempt to offset the wear of the discs (osteochondrosis) the body reacts by growing bone spurs or marginal ridges (osteophytes) in the affected area of bone.
These bony ridges themselves can cause pain and can also exert pressure on the nerves of the spinal canal, resulting in the spread of the pain to the arms and legs. Other symptoms may include numbness or a tingling sensation.
Osteochondrosis is a gradual process. In the early stage, physiotherapy, muscle training and pain management may suffice. In the advanced stage, however, if the nerves are subject to an intolerable amount of pressure, surgery is frequently required: interspinious process spacers or spinal disc implants are used to provide the nerves with the necessary space.