Bottom Line: Disc bulging (and herniations) are a natural part of the aging process. Yes, that’s right. As gravity pulls you down, you continue to age, and injuries catch up to you – your body starts to wear down, and degenerative processes begin. As a matter of fact, degeneration of the spine often begins before you are even 30 years old!
If you have had an MRI of your spine, you may have hit the floor when looking at the report. It can be scary when you see multiple levels of your spine have disc bulges, degenerative changes, and herniations. But, don’t worry – just because various levels of your spine are not perfect, doesn’t mean they are all causing pain, and research shows us that you are in the right place with chiropractic care!
Why it Matters: The truth is, you can have disc bulges and herniations that don’t cause pain. Our job is to perform a careful examination and determine which, if any, of your discs, are causing pain, numbness, or weakness. If you’re suffering from a disc bulge or herniation that is causing pain, spinal adjustments may be just what the doctor ordered.
Next Steps: Sharing is one of the best ways to show you care for your friends and family. Take this research and share it with a friend or family member who recently had an MRI of their spine. They may be scared and unsure of what to do next. However, once they are able to understand their condition, and that conservative care is their best option, they will be able to make a smart decision about their health!
(1) Outcomes from Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Confirmed Symptomatic Cervical Disk Herniation Patients Treated with High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude Spinal Manipulative Therapy. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. October 2013
(2) Outcomes of Acute and Chronic Patients with MRI Confirmed Symptomatic Lumbar Disc Herniations Receiving High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude,Spinal Manipulative Therapy: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study with One Year Follow-Up. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. March/April 2014
(4) Symptomatic MRI-Confirmed Lumbar Disk Herniation Patients: A Comparative Effectiveness Prospective Observational Study of 2 Age and Sex-Matched Cohorts Treated with Either High-Velocity, Low Amplitude Spinal Manipulative Therapy or Imaging-Guided Lumbar Nerve Root Injections. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. May 2013
by Christopher Freytag, D.C.