Strange as it would seem, traumatic spine disorders are not closely linked with pain. Fairly catastrophic spinal injuries, such as compression fractures, are not a great source of back pain. And again, this illustrates how nebulous the relationship between 'demonstrable things wrong' and pain can be.
That is not to say that the altered stresses through the spine as a result of an acquired bony deformity, itself a consequence of the injury, do not go on to contribute to degenerative changes in the spine, some decades later. But, as we have seen before, the spine has a remarkable ability to absorb insult and soldier on.
Spinal researchers tell us too that only 2%-10% of spinal degeneration can be explained by physical stresses imposed by strenuous occupations or sporting activities (Battie 1995, Battie 2009 and Videmanet al 2006, 2007)
Cumulative Micro-Trauma of the Disc's Outer Annulus
Where traumatic incidents do become important though, is on the microscopic scale, where multiple small – literally fibre-by-fibre - injuries of the stiff outer rim of a disc play an integral part of the disc’s overall breakdown (see Non-specific Back Pain). With too much sitting and not enough activity, the tough outer ‘skin’ becomes bunched down and non-compliant; too stiff to roll with the punches. Thus it becomes a 'sitting duck' and target of cumulative ricking incidents; a stiffer than normal outer rim of the disc is repeatedly ‘hurt’ or traumatised by mundane everyday activity on a minor scale.
Compression Fractures of the Spine
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