Does Wear and Tear Always Mean Pain??

Have you ever had an X-ray or scan only to be told you have “Wear and Tear” or “Arthritis”? Or even a “slipped disc” or “disc bulge”?

These terms can sound scary BUT it may mean absolutely nothing!

For instance, 75% of people in their 20s WITHOUT pain or symptoms have a disc bulge in their neck. And 80% of people at the age of 50 have disc degeneration (“wear and tear of the discs”). And these people had NO symptoms.

Have a look at this infographic for a few more examples around the body:

Remember, all these people scanned were asymptomatic, so had no pain or symptoms.

So what does this mean? It doesn’t mean that theses issues can’t cause pain or symptoms, but it does mean that sometimes these findings are irrelevant. At Symmetry Chiropractic, I “treat the man and not the scan” as I always correlate with imaging findings and what I find when I examine you.

Man holding an xray of a spine.

And it’s also a good reason why we don’t scan everyone willy nilly as we may uncover these things that are not causing you any issues, but after hearing you have them you end up feeling broken or old. And we do not want you to feel that way!

So, if you’ve been told in the past, you have a slipped disc, wear and tear or arthritis, the majority of the time, it is no cause for concern.

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