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Discernments for Patients with Disc Problems

By Debra Rodzinak

Understanding and identifying the exact cause of back pain can be difficult. So, how can patients who are suffering with disc problems understand their diagnosis and treatment plan?

Disc Disorder Does Not Equal Pain

Just because a disc has been damaged or diseased does not mean that pain is present. Many people who have had MRIs that reveal disc problems report no pain in their back. 

In the same regard, the amount of injury or disease does not correlate to the amount of pain felt by individuals.  A person who might have a herniated disc that protrudes out extremely may not experience any symptoms while someone who has an almost undetectable herniation can experience searing pain that radiates all the way down the leg. 

Testing Does Not Always Find the Source of Pain

After talking with a patient and understanding their medical history, a spine specialist will take that information and combine it with the symptoms the patient is experiencing to come up with a clinical diagnosis. Tests can also be performed to confirm the diagnosis and gain additional information. It is important to understand that tests do not usually find the source of a patient’s pain, but rather confirm the overall thought process that led to the initial diagnosis.

Surgery Is Not Always the Answer

Deciding on a treatment option to alleviate back pain is an important matter. No one needs to rush into surgery until they have ruled out other remedies. According to, surgery for some back problems has a “less reliable outcome and a much longer recovery time.”

One example is a multilevel fusion, which fuses several discs together. This type of surgery takes longer to heal and causes more stress to the remaining spinal segments. Education on each type of surgery and the alternatives to surgery is key to valuable decision making.

Alternative Options to Surgery

There are many different ways to help discs recover from injury or disease that don’t involve surgery: Exercise, chiropractic, and stretching are a few examples.

If you are suffering from spinal disc problems, consult your doctor first. Understanding your exact problem is key in taking the next step toward pain relief. If surgery is not a wanted option, come by The Joint and discuss your treatment options with one of our expert doctors. 

With no pesky insurance forms to fill out or appointment times to remember, finding relief from disc pain at The Joint is easy and stress free. Come by The Joint today to begin your path to a pain-free life!

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