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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

High-school athlete sidelined with degenerated discs, finds relief with our treatment. Case report #104

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Mon, Nov 10, 2014 @ 11:59 AM

My objective for writing and sharing case reports is to educate you about what causes back pain and how to properly treat different conditions.  My goal is to help you better understand back pain so you can make better decisions. The more you know the better your chances of eliminating your back troubles. There is lots of confusion about what causes back pain and how to treat it and my desire is to set it straight.

This week’s case report is a unique because the patient was young and had what some consider an older persons disease. 


A 17 year old male entered our office suffering with severe back pain.  He started having pain when he was 15 years old.  He was and is very involved in Football and Wrestling.  When his pain started he thought nothing of it, until one day he could no longer train for his sports. His pain was so bad he couldn’t do anything.

When he initially saw a doctor (before he came to us), he was sent for an MRI.  The MRI revealed that he had degenerated discs in his low back with a possible fracture.  This is a very unique case because it is rare for a 15 year old to have degenerated discs.  His course of care at that time was to get shots into his back and then get physical therapy (His first session of therapy was done by a local PT chain, not us).  He completed his therapies and was feeling better.

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Because he was feeling good enough he started to train aggressively, he had a goal of winning a state title in wrestling.  It was at this time that his back got worse.  He twisted his back and instantly had intense pain; the pain was so bad that for 2 days he couldn’t walk.

It was at this time that he came into our office.  When he entered our office his pain was at an 8 on a scale of 1-10.  We sent him for another MRI and we identified he had the original degenerated disc but now also had a tear in his disc that was causing a bulging disc.  The combination of these 3 problems was causing him all his troubles and pains.

The key to this case study and why he had ongoing back problems is his degenerated discs.


The disc is a lot like a jelly donut. The outside of the disc is a thick material like cartridge, this is called the annulus.  The inside of the discs is a jelly substance that we call the nucleus.  The nucleus needs to be well hydrated to be healthy.  When the jelly starts to dry out we call this a degenerated disc.  The key to his problem is the jelly was drying out and now the rest of the disc is wearing out.

disc 2

So there are several question;

1. How and why does a 15 year old have degenerated discs?

  •      Knowing he played football and wrestled half his life it is safe to assume he had multiple episodes of trauma to his spine.  Repeated trauma can affect the flow of oxygen, nutrients and hydration into his disc. This will lead the jelly drying out and the discs becoming degenerated.

2. Can we help him?

  • Our treatment is specifically designed to rehydrate the disc and get healing in the disc.  98% of all back pain that has not gone away with traditional therapy improves with our therapy.

 degenerated disc1

The more degenerated (dried out) a disc is, and the more stress you put on the disc, the more likely you are to have tearing of the annulus, and this is what happened to our patient.

annular tear

It’s not uncommon that when you have a disc problem in your spine and get traditional physical therapy you don’t get healing in the disc.  So the therapy improvement is minimal or temporary. This was the case with our patient; he had traditional treatments; shots and physical therapy. He was a little better for a while and then got much worse with activities.  The key for him, like most our patients, is to get healing in his disc.

When we started him on therapy his pain was an 8 and then after a few treatments his pain was much improved. After 12 treatments his pain was completely gone, but he wasn’t “Fixed,” his disc was healing.  After our course of care his pain was gone and his strength was fully restored. He was finally "Fixed," and he was then able to train for his run at the state title in wrestling. 




Because of his back injury he missed the entire season of wrestling except for the finals.  I am pleased to say he finished 4th in state and has no back pain.  He currently is scoring touchdowns and living his life pain free, and getting ready for another run at a wrestling title.

The key to our treatment is we have the ability to rehydrate the disc and allow for healing.  It’s a non-surgical treatment that involves performing exercises while getting a form of traction unweighting.   It does not hurt and helps eliminate the most stubborn of back problems.

  1. Herniated discs
  2. Bulging discs
  3. Degenerated discs
  4. Stenosis
  5. Sciatica
In a scientific study our nonsurgical drug free treatment was found to heal the discs in your spine.  To learn more about this and how it might help you click on this link.
Free Special Report - The Data Behind Functional Disc Stabilization


  1. Patient was 15 and had degenerated discs
  2. Had epidural shots into his spine
  3. Had gone through traditional therapy
  4. Pain came back worse
  5. 28 treatments at the Illinois Back Institute
  6. Pain gone
  7. Finished 4th in state for wrestling without any pain
  8. Scoring lots of touchdowns. 

Thank you;

The Illinois Back Institute Team.

If you have back pain and have tried other things or are just tired of living with your pains CALL NOW 888-926-2512

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For more case studies click on the following;

  1. 5 years of sciatica a treatment - case report #101
  2. Sciatica herniated disc patient prevented from surgery - case report #102
  3. Herniated Disc Treatment Complete Elimination - Case Report 
  4. Complete Elimination of a Severe Herniated Disc - Case Report #100
  5. Massive Herniated Disc Treatment Saved From Surgery - Case Study
  6. His Sciatica was so bad he couldnt work he then found relief with our treatment
  7. Treatment for herniated Discs in Neck and Low Back Avoids Surgery
  8. Severe Sciatica Treatment - Case Report
  9. Micheal Smith Herniated Disc Video - Case Report
  10. Micheal Smith Herniated Disc - Case Report
  11. Sciatica and Herniated Disc Severe Pain - Case Reprort



Topics: degenerative disc, back pain doctor chicago, Back Pain, bulging disc success rate, degenerative disc disease, back exercises, back pain clinic chicago, back pain causes