Have you just been diagnosed by your doctor with a bulging disc or herniated disc? What exactly does that diagnosis tell you? Is it a bad prognosis? Do you need to have spinal surgery? Can you safely perform back exercises or neck exercises to get rid of the pain? Will you be limited for the rest of your life?
These might be some common fears you or others may have about the recent report of findings. This website was created just for you and aims to cover most of the questions and issues you might face if you have been told you have these type of disc conditions. If you have any questions that aren’t covered in the material, please let me know. I want to make this as complete a resource as I possibly can.
Being a chiropractor I’ve experienced a lot of patients with acute and chronic spinal pain and the main reason I studied Chiropractic was that, I too once had a severe low back pain. Through my personal and clinical experience, I can try explain to you the situation you might be in.
How Common is Disc Degeneration?
Some quick facts about spinal discs for you.
- Already in the age group of 11–16 year old scan you see the first unequivocal findings of degeneration in the lumbar discs .
- 20% of teenagers have signs of mild disc degeneration. The rate of degenerative disc disease increases steeply with age, particularly in males.
- It has been found that 10% of 50-year-old and 60% of 70-year-olds have signs of severe degenerative discs changes .
What Are the Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Having Bad Looking Discs?
This is a question that is being studied by researchers. It will be forever and more be studied to see what is your risk of having chronic pain and disability.
What I can tell you is that with my own personal low back pain I went from severe lumbar pain episodes 2-4 times per year in my teens and 20’s to that not having happened again for the last 10 years. I’m sure if I had an MRI scan you might find some changes to the quality of my discs but I don’t have pain.
This has been repeated in other people and not just me where they have say a L5-S1 disc herniation but through various self-treatment or hands-on treatment mange to clinically cure their back pain. Even thought they have no pain the MRI scan still shows that worn out intervertabral disc.
I’m telling you this to give you hope that yes you can fix your neck or fix your back pain. Good luck and start reading the free articles I have written on the top right sidebar all about understanding spinal discs.
- Boos N, Weissbach S, Rohrbach H, Weiler C , Spratt KF, Nerlich AG: Classification of age-related changes in lumbar interver- tebral discs: 2002 Volvo Award in basic science. Spine 2002, 27:2631-2644.
- Miller J, Schmatz C, Schultz A: Lumbar disc degeneration: Cor- relation with Age, Sex, and Spine Level in 600 Autopsy Speci- mens. Spine 1988, 13:173-178.