My MRI Shows I Have A Herniated Disc, But I Have No Pain. How Is This Possible?

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Question: My Doctor Told Me I Have A Herniated Disc On My MRI, But I Have No Pain. How Is This Possible?

Answer: This is a very good question which can be puzzling to both your doctor and sometimes the patient.

If you and I would decide to do a scientific study and take 100 volunteers who do not have any symptoms of low back pain, or sciatica and ask these volunteers to have an MRI of their lumbar spine, up to 30 percent of these individuals would have one or another type of disc herniation in their lumber spine without even knowing that.

That can be explained by the fact that in order to develop pain, the herniated disc has to compress certain structures in the lumbar spine such as the spinal nerves or the pain receptors in order to have the pain. So that explains why up to 30 percent of the individuals who have herniated disc might not have any pain in their lower back or in the leg.

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