Degenerative disc disease back pain is a diagnosis often made; but is rarely correct. DDD is a completely normal and universal condition in the lumbar and cervical spinal regions which affects every living person, typically by the age of 30.
Most 30 year olds already have mild to moderate changes in their spines often blamed for enacting painful back complaints, when in fact, these changes are usually coincidental to any symptoms experienced. If spinal degeneration was the actual culprit for back pain, then people would show a greater predisposition for back ache as they age. However, this is simply not the case. The majority of back pain is suffered by people between the ages of 26 and 55, which are the ages of responsibility, not the ages involving the most marked degeneration. This is a fact.
This discussion evaluates the many back pain syndromes that are mostly mistakenly linked to typical spinal disc desiccation. We will also detail rare cases where DDD actually does cause pain.
Discs dry out and shrink as they age. This disc desiccation process is progressive and continues for life. However, most DDD is not blamed for pain in the elderly, even though the structural changes are almost always far worse than in younger people. This is simply because the elderly population does not reflect the same epidemic numbers of back pain sufferers as younger demographics.
Dr. John Sarno writes about this interesting fact, as it relates to both degenerative disc disease and spinal osteoarthritis. If these progressive conditions are truly responsible for pain, then the occurrence and intensity of symptoms should increase with age, but instead, the opposite occurs.
Once the age of responsibility passes, back pain diminishes in most cases.
Many doctors realize that degenerative disc disease is not generally symptomatic and does not present any health concerns at all. Sure, DDD helps to facilitate arthritic changes in the spine, but these issues are also not problematic in the vast majority of cases.
So, why is DDD blamed for creating symptoms in so many patients? This answer is easy to provide. Degenerative disc disease is a universal back pain scapegoat which will always be there as a reason for blame. Being that back doctors and chiropractors actively seek out structural issues as the causation of chronic pain, they need to find something.
DDD is always ready to serve the need. So what if the very idea of disc degeneration being painful is ludicrous in most cases. Sometimes, I can almost hear the gears turning in their profit-motivated heads: "The patient does not know any better. Right? They will listen to whatever I tell them. We all used to believe that DDD was a real problem, so why stop now. Most people have no idea of the latest research or recommendations that DDD should not be used as a diagnosis for back pain in virtually all cases. Anyway, I can get rich by providing treatment and if I don’t do it, someone else will."
It is sad, but unfortunately true in so many instances.
If you have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease as your main source of symptoms, please do yourself a favor and learn the truth. Do some independent research and avoid being force-fed medical myths and pure lies regarding DDD. To go along with this diagnosis without question is to agree to inappropriate and unnecessary treatment and possibly surgery which may end your life as you now know it.
Don’t take my word for it, even though I was misdiagnosed with DDD for the 18 years I spent suffering without a hope for a cure. Do not take my word for it at all...
Do your own research and find out that blaming DDD is not generally a logical conclusion for explaining any chronic neck or back pain. There are countless medical studies which support this absolute truth and absolutely no evidence inherently linking disc degeneration to back pain.