High intensity zones

High intensity zones – Intervertebral discs

High intensity zones are certain areas within an intervertebral disc that are brighter than others on MRI. They are bright signs on MRI (T2W) that indicate a tear (fissure) within the outer area (annulus) of an intervertebral disc. These zones become brighter due to the accumulation of repair tissue within a disc (granulation tissue) and the waste products (injured tissues) following the injury (truma) or degeneration (getting old).

Symptoms of high intensity zones

The first thing that needs to be established when it comes to high intensity signals within intervertebral discs is this. Not all tears produce high intensity signals within an intervertebral disc, and not all high intensity signals are painful. Clinical evaluation by an experienced chiropractor or physiotherapist is absolutely necessary for ongoing neck or back pain. A painful disc (discogenic pain) will likely cause neck or back pain at the level of the affected intervertebral disc or slightly higher or lower. It may cause referred pain (pain to another area) but this will not be nerve type pain (radicular).

Treatment of high intensity zones

At Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) we use chiropractic and physiotherapy for the treatment of pain intervertebral discs. Neck and back pain caused by an intervertebral disc is typically very successfully treated with chiropractic and physiotherapy. Intervertebral disc pain is common and needs a treatment combination of exercise, sitting and posture education, and mechanical treatments delivered by trained chiropractor or physiotherapist. Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) is a treatment centre of excellence for neck and back pain. We use treatments that are safe, reliable and based on the latest evidence.

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