Mar 10, 2021


We all have disc’s in our backs, they are our natural shock absorbers. They are also a main contributor to low back pain and back pain is very common. We often hear people come into clinic and advise us that they’ve been told they have a “slipped disc”.

This terminology can cause a lot of fear and be very misleading.

I had a patient in last week who was scared to bend and exercise because of this diagnosis. They had suffered back pain for months and it showed no sign of improving. They had convinced themselves that exercise was harmful, could make thing worse and that it was “just old age” and “nothing could be done”. “It runs in the family” and “Road running is bad for my back” was some other comments that back pain sufferer made. It’s a very common presentation and thought process.

But it’s also completely wrong. 

Persistent back pain and disc pain CAN get better.

So I wanted to clear something up and help educate as many of you as possible. I know that low back pain is very common so you all will either have experienced it yourself, or know someone who is experiencing it.

Can you do me a favour and please share this article with them and help them understand their injury in a little more detail.

Disc’s NEVER move out of place, never “slip”, and are very stable resilient shock absorbing structures.

Changes within discs are normal as we age. A recent study of 3110 pain-free individuals were imaged in total. 50% of 40 year olds have disc bulges and no pain. 80% of 50 year olds have disc degeneration and no pain. These changes are normal, just part of ageing, such as developing grey hair or losing that speed you once had! What does this mean for me?

Well this means that a very small percentage benefit from MRI results and these results must link with the clinical presentation. Meaning, you should check with your physiotherapist or consultant what your MRI results mean for you and and if you really need one in the first place!

Please do not just accept that you have to live with back pain or accept that you have to live with someone who is constantly complaining about back pain!

If you need help with back plain please call us on 0333 3010205 if you want to get help now or download our free back pain report below to learn more.

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