I'm getting sick of people diagnosing other people over the forum saying "Sounds like a disc problem" I'd like to thoroughly state why.
I came to this forum with lower back pain and got replies that got me super uber paranoid to the point I went to 5 doctors - 3 GP's, 1 specialist, and 1 surgeon. All of which said "No, trust me, you don't have it." Furthermore, I was told to go get an MRI by SO many people on this forum that I just had to make it my mission. six weeks later, I feel a lot better and should of listened to my doctors. None of them said I have a herniated disc issue. I did not get an MRI.
The problem is this: MRIs are expensive. Furthermore I have a lot of friends in med school that talk to me as to why doctors prescribe medicines and so on your first visit telling them to come back if the pain doesn't go away. They always told me that the rule of thumb is "Always assume the simplest case." This is true, because over complicating things from the beginning can actually cause the patient to cause further harm (either physical through misdiagnosis or mentally through stress and anxiety).
On top of this, I need to make something clear about herniated discs:
If you were to gather 100 people with ZERO symptoms, no pain in the lower back, no pain in the legs, no symptoms of sciatica whatsoever, and get them to go get an MRI, based on the research that **I've done** , 85% (yes, that's right, 85 people) would have herniated discs.
So, all in all, you can't tell if a certain weight lifting accident that led to a minor, mere lower back strain of the spinae erector muscles, led to a herniated disc. You may have got that herniated disc a long, long time ago.
I know many of you are saying this is BS, I ask you to go look this up for yourselves and see that I'm correct on the matter.
"What if it's pinching a nerve"
A lot of research suggests that this can be double-edged. A pinched nerve could be to many, many things. If a disc herniation is PRESSING on a disc it could actually be due to the cause of your symptoms. HOWEVER, it may not have anything to do with it. To this very day, doctors can not conclude sources of back pain. Furthermore, they all conclude that 90% of the time, surgery is not needed because the disc tends to heal on its own, because it goes away for some people. I'm not saying that surgery doesn't work for some people because it does, and I've seen it through others' experiance. But the treatment is very invasive and as much as 50% of people get absolutely NO relief after the surgery
I don't care if you say "the disc will never be 100% if it were to heal" the truth is, our bodies will never be 100%. Every single person on this forum is an active, engaging individual who has a passion for lifting weights and/or losing fat. We put our bodies in stress mode constantly, and to say that we'll never be 100% is a stupid, stupid assumption because that's just how stuff goes. We get older. We're human. Some times we feel good and sometimes we feel bad. The point I'm trying to make here is that discs do heal, so please stop showing false information that people will never be able to squat or deadlift again because it gets people soiling their underwear and depressed. Even if it does heal 80% of the way through, that's still enough for you to go on with your life.
As for the ABSOLUTE SIMPLEST WAY TO TELL IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE A HERNIATED DISC ***THAT LEADS TO PAINFUL SYMPTOMS*** check out this informative video:
For all of you people who aren't bothered, the specialist in this video explains that the simplest ways of knowing if your herniated disc is the source of your problem, then you need to adhere to the facts
The main theory behind herniated disc is that there is a bulge/rupture of the nucleus that impinges, or pinches, or even pushes against the sciatic nerve in the S1, L5, or L4 region. (If you don't know what these are, these are the specific disks located in the Lumbar area of your body).
Fact 1 - When you cough, you exert six times more pressure on these discs than usual, which pushes against the nerve more, which leads to a flare up of your painful symptoms
Fact 2 - When you sneeze, you exert TWENTY TWO times more pressure on these discs than usual, which pushes against the nerve more, which leads to a flare up of your painful symptoms
Fact 3 - When you laugh, it should aggravate the pain.
I made this post because I feel there is a lack of informative diagnosis on herniated discs. A lot of people just jump to conclusions and say "It's a disc problem, go get an MRI" for the people who do get an MRI and say "Oh I do have it, this sucks" I empathize, but please be aware that your weight lifting accident may not be the source of your injury at all.
God bless and heal well.
03-06-2012, 12:05 PM #1
How to tell if you have a herniated disc that leads to pain
03-06-2012, 12:35 PM #2
03-07-2012, 05:38 AM #3
03-07-2012, 06:01 AM #4
Also, people who suffer back injuries can aggravate nerves around the area by simply over worrying (some instances where the back has completely healed but the area hurts to touch and you still have symptons, this is because you have rewired your body to 'overprotect' the area). which can make recovering mentally exhausting, leading to feelings of hopelessness.
03-07-2012, 08:10 AM #5
This was found after some super light research:
To get the full story we have to go back about ten years to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine involving the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to diagnose back pain. In this study researchers (who were intrigued by the findings of several other studies concerning herniated discs) selected 98 subjects who did not have back pain or any other back related symptoms and sent them to be evaluated by MRI scans. What makes this interesting is that the evaluators were not told that these people did not have back problems.
The results were pretty astounding and sent a shock wave through the medical community at that time. What they found was that 64 percent of the test subjects came back with MRIs that showed disc problems that normally would have marked them as prime candidates for surgery… except, of course, for one little problem… and that was that they did not have back problems at all!
Over half of the test subjects turned out to have herniated discs, and a large percentage of these people - who did not have any back pain whatsoever - were diagnosed as having such things as spondylolysis, spondylolisthesis and stenosis of the spinal canal. Here are the exact findings:
The most common nonintervertebral disk abnormalities in people without symptoms were Schmorl's nodes (herniation of the disk into the vertebral-body end plate), in 19 percent of the subjects; annular defects (disruption of the outer fibrous ring of the disk), in 14 percent; and facet arthropathy (degenerative disease of the posterior articular processes of the vertebrae), in 8 percent. Seven percent of the asymptomatic subjects had spondylolysis, 7 percent had spondylolisthesis, 7 percent had stenosis of the central canal, and 7 percent had stenosis of the neural foramen. 
With the results of the two readings averaged, 52 percent of the subjects had a bulge at at least one level, 27 percent had a protrusion, and 1 percent had an extrusion. Thirty-eight percent had an abnormality of more than one intervertebral disk.
03-07-2012, 08:11 AM #6
Anxiety does often produce symptoms throughout the body that can in fact mislead to one thinking he/she is still injured. Waiting for that "moment of shock" or "pain" does entail that the subconscious mind will do this also, which changes our behavior patterns.
03-07-2012, 08:15 AM #7
03-07-2012, 05:16 PM #8
03-07-2012, 05:20 PM #9
03-08-2012, 05:31 AM #10
02-14-2013, 07:42 PM #11
06-15-2013, 03:33 PM #12
06-15-2013, 07:50 PM #13
A good informative post. There is a difference between a disc bulge and a herniated disc though. A disc bulge often means that there is no tearing of the annulus fibrosis and therefore no fluid leaking onto the exiting nerve. Disc bulges can be particularly painful, but they are definitely not a life sentence. The studies you cited are great examples of the amazing thing that is our body. Pain is a complicated experience and i want to share this to you guys to help you gain a better understanding of how our body's interpret dangerous sitiuations. 100% of the time pain is in our brain. It is an output from our brain, a warning system telling us that our body is in actual or potential danger.
06-28-2013, 03:44 AM #14
Nice thread OP. I'm dealing with this now. I did a bit of research online and completely agree with you. I made a thread asking for others experiences: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=153804571
The thing that's so scary about this injury is that it's so individualized. No two back injuries are the same. Some people can recover 100% (can never be exactly the same after any injury, but maybe 99%) and others are struggling with it to varying degrees the rest of their lives. A lot depends on the body's ability to re-absorb the disc material. It's just a case by case scenario. And a lot of it how unlucky or lucky you are. Some people have this injury and never recover so that's where you get the "horror stories" from. But everyone is different, some will recover fully and others won't.
Let's get some more posts in here guys. This is a great thread! It can really help people
06-29-2013, 12:23 AM #15
I was diagnosed with a herniated disc last december. After a 2.5 months break, I got back to the weightlifting with some instructions. I felt no pain or discomfort during my trainings. In May, I wanted to get another MRI to check it. It revealed that it got worse. It became extruded type. My doctor surprised that I had no mobility issues or weakness or numbness. I stopped my training sessions. So I agree with Yoy0.
Sometimes, I feel a tolerable pain in my neck. However, I'm symptom free most of times. Thank God.
I'm looking for a way to completely heal and get back to the gym. There are certain individuals who had disc problems and healed. It's called 'Spontaneous Regression'.
Now, I feel sorry..
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