Sometimes when you have a severely painful back, you may hear your chiropractor mention a “herniated disc,” or talk about “degenerative disc disease.” You may wonder what all this “disc” talk is about. If you’ve ever examined a lumbar spine model at the doctor’s office, it looks like a group of interconnected bones. But your spine is a lot more complicated than that. It is a “spinal system,” that in addition to bones, includes ligaments, tendons, and muscles. As for discs, they are the shock absorbers of the spine.