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Disc Degeneration and Pain-Is There a Link?

Home » » Disc Degeneration and Pain-Is There a Link?

Degeneration of the discs in the low back or neck is often given as the reason that someone has back or neck pain. If this is the case, then we should see that as degenerative changes progress, people with this should have more pain. A recent study looked at this to see if this is actually the case……

A study published in the October, 2020 issue of The Spine Journal did an MRI of the lumbar spine of 20 year old patients who were experiencing an episode of low back pain. Some of these young people showed some degenerative disc changes. They then followed these patients for 30 years and did follow up MRIs of their spine. 

The key here is that if degenerative changes are the cause of low back pain, we should expect to see that people who had continued degenerative changes also had more pain and disability because of these changes. 

What the study actually found was that over the course of 30 years, the degenerative changes that had started when these people were 20 years old actually did progress. However, there was no association between continued degenerative changes and pain and disability!

I have written about this previously here: www.promotiongb.com/blog/neck-degenerative-disc-disease and here: www.promotiongb.com/blog/neck-pain-bulging-discs-and-degenerative-changes1135516 and here: www.promotiongb.com/blog/low-back-imaging-how-useful-is-it

Again, this is good news. We cannot do anything about the changes that occur as we get older. But, contrary to popular belief, these changes likely are not the cause of pain.

If you have been told that you have pain in your neck or low back because of degenerative changes that have been found by x-ray or MRI, do not believe it. Contact me to discuss other reasons why you may be having pain. 

Want to talk to me? Been diagnosed as having Degenerative disc disease? Don’t settle for doing nothing! Click on the button below and let’s set up a time to talk about what can be done.

Thanks for Reading,



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