Low back pain is a chronic and expensive health problem that is the most common cause of restricted activity level in the population under 45 years of age. Among the structures forming the lumbar vertebra, pain is most often caused by the intervertebral disc. As a result of intervertebral disc degeneration, which usually starts in the 2nd decade, physiological load distribution is disrupted and pathological changes occur in the annulus fibrosis, facet joints and vertebrae. Nucleus pulposus herniation, which occurs as a result of ruptures occurring in the anulus fibrosis, and facet joint hypertrophy and arthrozis due to the change of the load distribution cause compression of the nerve roots. Disc degeneration, disc herniation and disc-induced pain develop due to all these degenerative changes along with vertebra endplate changes. Although conservative approaches and surgical approaches such as discectomy, segmental fusion and disc arthroplasty are widespread in the treatment of intervertebral disc degeneration; approaches to the regeneration of damaged tissue are very limited among the current treatment practices. In recent years, studies on whether disc degeneration can be reversed have been gaining importance in the literature. This increases the need for elucidation of the molecular basis of disc degeneration. On the other hand, a better understanding of the biological process involved in degeneration is the basis for producing therapeutic solutions. A better understanding of the degeneration process will enable the cellular and molecular-based treatments to be implemented in the future.
View Full Article