How common are herniated discs?

Herniated disks are very common. For instance, 40 percent of asymptomatic 40-year-old individuals have an abnormality of a disc on lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Dr. Gerald M. Silverman
Chiropractic Medicine Specialist

Among adults without current or previous back pain, 33 percent have significant disc abnormality. Fifty-seven percent over age 60 and 20 percent under age 60 have at least one bulging disc, and a major disc abnormality is seen in 14 percent of pain-free people under age 40 and 28 percent of those over 40. One study showed a 35 percent abnormal rate in pain-free subjects, with patients over 40 years of age having a 50 percent abnormal rate. Depending upon your age, chances are better than 50-50 that if you go for an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), some abnormality will be revealed.

Your Miraculous Back: A Step-By-Step Guide to Relieving Neck & Back Pain

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Your Miraculous Back: A Step-By-Step Guide to Relieving Neck & Back Pain

Many of us complain about our 'bad back,' but this book argues that our backs are, without exception, amazing examples of bioengineering, capable of dramatic feats of strength, flexibility, and...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.