These illustrations were created for a medical device company to describe common spinal disc injuries. Intervertebral discs act as cushions between vertebrae in the spine. Degenerative disc disease is a term used to describe the changes to spinal discs as we age. When a disc bulges, it can put pressure on the spinal nerves, causing pain. In herniated discs, the jelly-like fluid within the disc leaks out due to a rupture in the annulus. This also causes pressure on the spinal nerves and pain.