Most of the people I work with tell me that they have herniated discs or bulging discs or slipped discs or degeneration in their spine. They’ve been told that there is something “wrong” with their back, and that is what is causing their back pain.
If you go to a doctor or physical therapist with back pain, they will almost always send you for an MRI. And then, they almost always find something. But a review of the literature reveals that these herniated discs and “disc problems” are much more common than we once realized. In fact, they are common in pain-FREE individuals! So, can we really say that these disc problems are causing someone’s back pain?
Are Herniated Discs Definitively The Cause Of Your Back Pain?
Not quite. In fact, New York Times Best Selling Author Cathryn Jakobson Ramin (watch my exclusive interview with her here) in her latest book “Crooked: Outwitting The Back Pain Industry and Getting On The Road To Recovery” did an extensive review of the research and discovered several shocking studies. One in particular showed that in a study of 67 pain-FREE individuals, more than 90% had degeneration in the spine and more than a third had herniated discs. And these are people that lived their entire lives without pain!
So what we are realizing is that “disc problems” aren’t necessarily the CAUSE of back pain. The herniated disc could have been there before the back pain ever started. But then, when the back pain starts you go and get an MRI and they find the herniated disc (which was probably already there beforehand) and say that that is the cause of your back pain.
What IS Causing Back Pain To Become Chronic, Then?
Anyone who follows the latest research knows that pain is much more than just a result of a physical, structural issue. In fact, the “biopsychosocial model of pain” shows that pain has very distinct psychological, social and emotional components.
One particular psychological component of pain is the FEAR of movement induced by giving people such diagnoses, coupled with phrases like “your spine looks like that of an 80 year old” and “you better be careful, because you could throw your back out again at any moment”.
Do you think that instilling this fear of movement in someone might cause them to move differently? Or quite possibly begin to not move much at all? And we all know that being sedentary certainly does not help keep our muscles flexible or strong, nor does it support any of the systems in our body.
You Can AND Should Exercise Even If You Have A Herniated Disc....Here's How.
Watch the quick 2-minute video below to learn the ONE thing you need to do in order to start exercising for back pain relief EVEN if you have a herniated disc or other “disc problems”.
You absolutely can and will get rid of your back pain. But it has to be done properly. And a lot of the exercises and stretches you see online are just too much for most people in pain (read related blog on how to exercise for back pain relief without making it WORSE).
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me what’s going on with your back – I’d love to simply offer a couple free quick tips for you, or we can even set up a free consultation to help bring clarity and hope to your ability to get rid of your back pain and get back to LIVING! I can’t wait to help you! – Melanie
For a long time, I felt invincible to my scoliosis. Despite the rods, I managed to go to the gym, run, spin, hike, swim and do basically anything I wanted. In fact, when I first started personal training I became involved in high-intensity interval training, as that was (and still is) all the rage. Learn More >>