Column Why does discogenic pain tend to become chronic?
Chronic pain in the shoulders and knees, as well as low back pain, is thought to be caused by repeated irritation of damaged tissues, or by substances that remain in the tissues once they have been damaged, making the pain chronic.
In the case of intervertebral discs in particular, pain-related nerves can penetrate into the cracks created by degeneration. Basic research using rats has shown that in a model in which an intervertebral disc was injured once only, the appearance of substances relating to inflammation was transient, but that in a model in which the disc was injured three times, the presence of inflammatory substances persisted for a long time. As the human intervertebral disc itself is subjected to constant stress, once a disc is injured once, it is likely to get injured repeatedly, and repeated disc injury in turn results in prolonged inflammation and chronic pain.
To break this cycle of pain, it is necessary to repair and regenerate the disc and to remove the stress that is repeatedly placed on the disc.
ILC International Lumbago Clinic Tokyo