Maybe, but maybe not. To be honest it’s a term I hear thrown around too easily, and often inaccurately.
Unless it happened in a traumatic situation, in the majority of cases when vertebral discs bulge or herniate, it’s not because it’s genetic or it just randomly happened because of bad luck. Often It’s because the movement patterns within the spinal joints have deteriorated and there is added stress on the vertebral joints.
Just because you have back pain does not mean you have a bulging or herniated disc. (Not sure the difference? Read this blog post!) In fact, research has shown that many people are walking around with bulging discs while experiencing NO symptoms!
How do you know if you have a disc herniation?
By having a thorough, assessment with highly trained Doctors who spend 4 years (after completing a university degree) studying the anatomy and mechanics of the spine. Yes, that’s right, see a Chiropractor and have a proper evaluation rather than relying on “Dr. Google”. (Read this post about why this can be dangerous.)
Your physical assessment should include postural testing, an evaluation of your range of motion and functional abilities spinal joint palpation, gait analysis, orthopedic and neurological tests. You might even have further diagnostic testing such as surface EMG or X-rays.
The clinical results from this type of assessment gives us plenty of information as to what might be going on within the body. Within the first few minutes of any examination I quickly know whether there is irrigation within the disc or not, and if the healing process can begin, or whether further diagnostics such as an MRI are needed.
So, if you’re struggling with back pain and guessing you might have a disc herniation, consider having a consultation with a professional first.
Check out these blog posts for more information: