Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Dr. Helm has been practicing interventional pain management since 1982. Dr. Helm is a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology with subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine and of the American Board of Pain Medicine. Dr. Helm is a Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP), the only certifying agency which tests the ability to perform interventional pain procedures. Dr. Helm is also an examiner for FIPP.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
What is the anatomy of the disc of the spine (intervertebral disc)?
The disc is an important structure that rests between the bony building
blocks of the spine (vertebrae). The disc in the spine is sometimes referred to
as the intervertebral disc. Intervertebral discs help provide flexibility to our
spine. They also lessen the effect of impact on our spine by cushioning the bony
vertebrae. The disc is designed somewhat like a jelly donut. The disc has a
stronger outer layer (the annulus) that is
rather like a radial tire, and an inner gel (the nucleus) that acts as a sort of
shock absorber or cushion between
the bones of the spine.