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Most Lumbar Disc Herniation Occurs Spontaneously

And study finds no correlation between inciting event, severity of the herniation

FRIDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- Lumbar disc herniation (LDH) usually occurs without any inciting event, and when there is an inciting event, it is not associated with a more severe presentation, according to a study in the May issue of The Spine Journal.

Pradeep Suri, M.D., of the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, and colleagues reviewed medical records for 154 patients with LDH to identify any patient-reported event that incited the condition, such as heavy or light lifting, non-lifting physical activity, non-exertional occurrence, physical trauma, or spontaneous onset.

Overall, 62 percent of the patients reported no specific event associated with onset of their LDH symptoms. Non-lifting activities accounted for 26 percent of all LDH; heavy lifting, 6.5 percent; light lifting, 2 percent; non-exertional occurrences, 2 percent; and physical trauma, 1.3 percent. Inciting events were not significantly associated with a more severe clinical presentation, but spontaneous LDH was significantly associated with greater disability at baseline.

"Although these findings do not refute either the cumulative injury model or genetic model of disc degeneration, neither do they suggest that physical activity is associated with the occurrence or severity of disc herniation. This information may be helpful in the education of patients recovering from LDH," the authors conclude.

One study author disclosed financial ties to medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

Abstract
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