Spinal abnormalities are conditions in the backbone that are considered atypical or unusual. This is ironic, since most irregularities in the spine are a completely normal and universal part of the aging process.
Life creates variations and the spine is not immune to these laws. The simple processes involved in anatomical movement and getting older have degenerative effects on all the spinal structures. These changes are not abnormal in any way.
Since the dawn of modern medical imaging, doctors have blamed pain on most of these irregular structural conditions in the vertebral column.
Just recently, major changes have been made to recommendations for diagnostic protocols to be utilized by all manner of doctors who treat back pain. Several noted medical organizations have now expressly warned physicians not to diagnose structural abnormalities as the sources of pain unless there is definitive evidence that the issues are indeed causative for symptoms.
Furthermore, these same medical associations have cited overwhelming research evidence telling of no correlation between the common spinal abnormalities, such as herniated discs, arthritis, and disc degeneration and the incidence of back pain.
There are many structural changes which may be considered abnormal in the human vertebral column:
Herniated discs are an irregular phenomenon according to medical science. Disc herniations are extremely common, especially in the lumbar and cervical regions of the spine. Herniated discs are often caused by other completely normal degenerative processes. Most minor to moderate disc pathologies have been conclusively proven to be asymptomatic.
Degenerative disc disease is not a disease at all. It is a normal part of life. Discs naturally lose moisture and shrink as we age. This sometimes creates the perfect scenario for a herniation to occur. These 2 conditions often exist simultaneously in the same patient, at the same vertebral levels.
Spinal arthritis is also a normal part of aging. Cartilage and synovial joint breakdown is normal throughout the body. It can cause some aches and pains, but is rarely to blame for severe chronic back pain. It is not abnormal to have evidence of arthritis or facet joint syndrome and not even know it. Almost everyone develops the physical manifestations of the condition, but only a minority develop associated symptoms.
Doctors usually try to trace all pain back to an anatomical causation. Unfortunately, many patients have severe pain with no obvious physical reason for the symptoms. In these cases, the physician needs to diagnose something, so the most common practice is to locate a spinal irregularity in the approximate region of the pain and blame that structure for the symptoms. The symptoms do not usually match up to the diagnosis exactly, but the patient will never know.
While severely irregular spinal conditions can produce pain, these examples are the gross exception to the rule. Most patients diagnosed with these common spinal conditions have mild to moderate degrees of degeneration which fall within the perfectly acceptable range for people of their age and condition. Most chronic pain conditions may only connected to the diagnosed abnormality by the nocebo effect of the actual diagnosis.
My spine is full of these abnormal back pain scapegoat conditions. I have degenerated discs, herniated discs and osteoarthritis. For many years, these conditions were blamed for my horrible acute and chronic back pain. Of course I believed the doctors who diagnosed me.
They are doctors. They must know the truth.
Well after trying everything to cure my back pain, I realized that these guys don’t know anything about what was really going on inside my spine. I learned that there was an alternate and far more logical explanation for my chronic pain. I was actually suffering from ischemia all along.
My spinal abnormalities had nothing at all to do with my pain. It did not take me long to repudiate the incorrect diagnoses I had received and cure my own pain, all by myself.
Time and age have brought much more severe structural issues (and pain) back into my life, but I still only feel that these spinal conditions are partially to blame for my continuing symptoms. I still cite the influence of my own mind as being contributory.
Most patients do not want to let go of the blame placed on their degenerated spines.
“Oh, I am really hurt. I have…(insert diagnosis here)”
This is what I hear every day. Some people do not want to learn the truth. They rather hold on to their diagnosis. They rather hold on to the blame. They rather hold on to their pain.
Well, not me. I would like to be free from a life of pain once again, so I am working towards that goal daily. If you want to end your pain also, it may be wise to further research whatever diagnosis you have been given and provide yourself with a more objective view of the condition. You might just find that you too have been labeled as suffering from some innocent scapegoat condition. This is a positive step forward towards a real cure.
Speaking of real cures... We discuss the role played by spinal abnormalities in great detail in many of our Cure Back Pain Forever Program resources, including the original CBPF book, The Power of Fear and Back Pain Misdiagnosis.