90% of the patients who are diagnosed with lower back pain each year have 3 main types of lower back pain. Disc bulge or hernation, Stenosis or Degenerative Disc Disease, SI pain or Sacroiliac Joint Pain.
Disc bulges and herniations can be identified by these sypmtoms: If you're under the age of 35 years old, the pain radiates down a leg, numbness and tingling, possible weakness down the leg and the symptoms increase with coughing, laughing or sneezing.
Stenosis is by far the most common type of lower back pain and it can be identified by the following symptoms: Over the age of 55, pain in the lower back with standing or walking, the pain is relieved with sitting.
SI or Sacroiliac pain is the third type of lower back pain and it can be a little sneaky as this type does not show up on an xray or MRI. This type can be identified by the following symptoms: pain often times on one side and pin point location, pain with bending or sitting, very common during and after pregnancy and anyone of anyone age can have this type.
Now it is possible to have more than one type. I would say that most people believe they have a disc herniation because they might have had an MRI to confirm it. However MRI's are not always helpful and in fact they can do more harm than good. We know that a research study was done looking at thousands of people and gave them MRI's whether they had pain or not. They found that 60% of people had disc bulges and only 10% had pain. So the fact that you have a bulge does not mean that is where your pain is coming from.
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