Normal vs pathological intervertebral disc changes
In this section, we will try to remove some myths about spinal degeneration (wear and tear) and what should be considered normal versus abnormal.
Generally speaking, everyone over the age of 25 years will have some degeneration (wear and tear) of their spine. Some degeneration is normal. Some degeneration of the spine is no different from getting wrinkles on the skin as we age. It is a normal part of ageing and is not problematic.
Abnormal changes occur when there is extensive degeneration and may be caused by injury, trauma, infection and inflammatory conditions of the spine. Some individuals degenerate more than others from no apparent reason, and this is likely due to hereditary factors. Occupations that require heavy lifting, bending and repeated spine movements may also promote accelerated degenerative changes. Some sports may also accelerate changes.
It is important to note that movement is essential for the health of the spine and is a critical factor to nourish the intervertebral discs and spinal joints. Playing sports, running and moving, in general, should be achieved for at least thirty minutes per day for optimal spinal health.
To read more about degenerative changes in the spine, and different conditions that affect the intervertebral discs. Please read the below articles written by our Balmain and Haberfield chiropractors and physiotherapists.
- Intervertebral disc summary
- Degenerative intervertebral discs (technical)
- Degenerative intervertebral discs (non-technical)
- Intervertebral disc bulge
- Intervertebral disc herniation
- Intervertebral disc protrusion
- Intervertebral disc extrusion
- Intervertebral disc sequestration
- Contained and uncontained intervertebral disc herniation
- Intervertebral disc fissures
- Intervertebral disc tears
- Intervertebral disc infection
- Traumatic intervertebral disc injury