1046 Howitt Street Wendouree
03 5335 3200

Disc Degeneration does not mean ongoing lower back pain

Allied Health Care for the Ballarat Region

Disc Degeneration does not mean ongoing lower back pain

disc degeneration

Your recent back imaging shows disc degeneration, that does not mean you will get ongoing lower back pain.


All too often patients will present, very worried, with a story that they have had imaging on the lower back and there is disc degeneration-I am doomed to a life of lower back pain.


A recent study in the journal “Spine” reported the outcomes for 75 army conscripts in Finland. These conscripts had undergone MRI investigation of their lumbar spine 20 years ago. The studies reported degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine. Many people will believe that this means they will have a lifetime of lower back pain.


On review MRI 20 years later there was increased degenerative disc disease but there was not an associated increase in lower back pain.


There are many contributors to lower back pain which may need to be assessed and perhaps managed. Imaging can form part of the assessment process where your health practitioner is looking for something seriously wrong with your lower back. These images are simply a picture of your spine at a point in time.


As noted above there are many factors that contribute to lower back pain and it is not useful in many cases of lower back pain to be unduly worried about imaging reports. Stress and concern about reports of imaging are known to contribute to an increase in pain experienced.



Peter Steggall

Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

Lake Health Group

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5 Day Lockdown

As per our most recent lockdown, allied health services (Physiotherapy and Podiatry) are deemed essential and as such the clinic will be open for essential clinical care.

There will be no clinical pilates, GLAD, exercise therapy, myotherapy or massage during this lockdown. We will seek to re-schedule any existing appointments.

What does this mean for you?
- If you have a Physio or Podiatry appointment in the next 5 days, your therapist will work with you to determine if the appointment would fall into the defined essential category.
- You ARE ALLOWED to travel more than 5km for medical appointments, please use your text message reminder as proof if required.

We welcome all clients except those who have visited the listed COVID exposure sites as per the current government legislation and COVID safe requirements.

If you have any queries or concerns please contact our friendly administration team on 5335 3200.