Can Disc Herniations Be Pain Free?
There have been a few studies over the years that reported that there were many people walking around with asymptomatic (no symptoms) disc herniations. This study published in 2006 showed us the flaws in the earlier studies as well has discussing 2 studies showing between 0-2.8% of people have asymptomatic disc herniations. Some of the earlier studies did not distinguish between disc bulges and disc herniations (which is a big deal). The earlier studies also lacked physical examinations to ensure the patients were actually asymptomatic. This study showed that the idea of asymptomatic disc herniations being common is not factual and highly unlikely. Disc herniations are actual tears in the disc caused by trauma.
D’Antoni, A. V., & Croft, A. C. (2006). Prevalence of herniated intervertebral discs of the cervical spine in asymptomatic subjects using MRI scans: A qualitative systematic review. Journal of Whiplash & Related Disorders, 5(1), 5-13.