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Internal Disc Derangement

Internal Disc Disruption (IDD) is a common cause of disabling low back pain in a substantial number of young, healthy adults. From outward appearances the disc appears to be normal yet pain persists.

IDD is often found in young adults with a history of trauma. They present with severe pain that is usually central in the lower back. The symptoms are of chronic duration and typically worse with any loading of the disc and/or activities that increase the intradiscal pressure. Such activities often include bending, lifting, sitting and, sometimes changes in posture. Unlike disc herniations however, this pain is not the result of disc compression upon the nerve root. In most IDD patients the pain does not usually radiate into either extremity past the knee to the foot. Typically, these patients have no “hard/classic” neurological findings. In other words, there generally is no weakness or sensory loss, no loss of deep tendon reflexes or root tension signs.

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