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  • Writer's pictureDr Josh Bonine DC

Increased Nerves in Pre-existing Intervertebral Disc Disease

Increased Nerves in Pre-existing Intervertebral Disc Disease

Previous research papers have demonstrated and discussed the presence of pain generating nerve fibers within pre-existing degenerative intervertebral discs. This is a major cause of pain and disability in injuries, particularly low speed collision in patients with pre-existing disc pathology. A recent article by Binch et al (2015) has demonstrated yet again that nerves do grow into the intervertebral disc resulting in injury with less trauma. The authors stated “In 1997, Freemont and colleagues used immunohistochemistry to investigate the localization of nerve and blood vessels within the deeper layers of the IVD [intervertebral disc] and documented that these nerves contained sensory peptides.” [pg. 2]

They continue by stating “The aim of this study was to identify and localize nerve and blood vessels within human IVD tissue obtained from surgery and post-mortem (PM) to test the hypothesis that nerve and blood vessels are present within the deeper layers of the degenerate human IVD.” [pg. 2]

They stated “The data presented show that nerves are present within the IAF [intervertebral annulus fibrosis] and NP [nucleus pulposus] of degenerate IVDs from patients with histological evidence of disc degeneration, which confirms results shown in previous studies” [pg. 6]

This information has important implications for injuries with pre-existing degenerative discs as there is significant recurrent evidence that these structures have increased innervation, therefore are susceptible to increased injury, prolonged disability and pain.


Spine & Injury Centers of San Antonio is a local network of 5 chiropractic offices. As a group, we are raising the standard of care for injured patients and their families.

If you have recently been in a car accident, or had a personal injury, sports injury, or exercise injury, and are experiencing back pain, neck pain, knee pain, whiplash, headaches, leg pain, etc, our San Antonio injury chiropractors can help!

Our goal is to get you back to living a pain-free life as quickly as possible.

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  1. Binch, A. L., Cole, A. A., Breakwell, L. M., Michael, A. L., Chiverton, N., Creemers, L. B., ... & Le Maitre, C. L. (2015). Nerves are more abundant than blood vessels in the degenerate human intervertebral disc. Arthritis research & therapy, 17(1), 1.



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