Low Back Pain and Lumbar Disc Degeneration
Some medical conditions and injuries make themselves known immediately, but others do not reveal themselves until over the course of time they have grown progressively worse. This is often true of lumbar disc degeneration which is often unseen on x-rays, MRIs and CT scans until the condition becomes more advanced. Lumbar disc degeneration can lead to disc herniation, spinal stenosis. disc protrusion, reduction of disc size and instability. Severe back and/or neck pain, numbness, and weakness as a result of nerve compression may also ensue.
Medical research indicates that there is a genetic predisposition for disc degeneration, but other factors may also contribute, including smoking, obesity, adverse environmental conditions, physical labor, high body mass index, whole-body vibrations and automobile driving.
Where lower back pain is reported and lumbar disc degeneration is suspected, a complete medical history and physical examination should be conducted, followed by appropriate imaging studies, such as x-rays, MRI and CT scan, as indicated. These should aid in a proper diagnosis. It is also extremely important to determine the presence or absence of infection, tumor, spinal instability, or deformity.