Can a herniated disc also have psychological or psychosomatic reasons and consequences?


The herniated disc is one of the most common neurological diseases in Germany and has a new occurrence rate of over one percent in western industrialized countries. Most of the herniated discs occur between the ages of 30 and 50 years. Psychological or psychosomatic causes have not yet been described in the literature, as this is a purely organic reason, provided that the definition of a herniated disc is used as a basis. The symptoms of a herniated disc, on the other hand, could in rare cases actually have psychological or psychosomatic causes.
The consequences of the herniated disc can, however, have a very strong effect on the psyche and also on the psychosomatics of the patient.

The psyche has this influence on the development of a herniated disc

While no connection between psychological problems and a herniated disc can be established on the basis of conventional medicine, various alternative healing methods see a connection.
Since the basis of the herniated disc is an exit of the intervertebral core, there is only one possible physical cause. As a result of excessive strain or incorrect posture. In other medical areas, however, the spine is seen as a counterpart to the backbone.
According to this view, psychological distress or doubts about oneself can also have an impact on the spine. In these circles, the ultimate cause of the herniated disc is not denied - namely that the spinal cord is compressed by a defective disc - the cause for this is seen in both physical and psychological stress.

These psychosomatic consequences accompany a herniated disc

In the case of neurological diseases in particular, it is difficult to separate the psychosomatic consequences of an illness from symptoms or consequences that are actually organic. It is therefore not possible to make a specific statement as to which psychosomatic consequences can result from a herniated disc. For example, effects on what is known as pain memory are often possible. The patient could therefore feel pain in the regions previously affected by the herniated disc, although there is no concrete organic evidence for this. In addition, pain could occur in other parts of the body that are comparable to that of the herniated disc. Here, too, the whole thing can go ahead without any concrete organic clues.
Sensitivity disorders, which are usually associated with a herniated disc, could, for example, be reproduced again, even here without any organic clues as to the origin of these disorders.

A herniated disc changes the psyche

To what extent the psyche can be impaired by a herniated disc is simply impossible to predict. The effects can be as different as the people themselves. On the whole, however, two higher-level scenarios are conceivable.
On the one hand there are people whose psyche does not change due to the herniated disc and on the other hand those in whom the herniated disc causes a psychological change. This group can again be roughly divided into those people who, after the herniated disc, have a more passive or fearful-avoiding lifestyle and those who can gain a strengthening of their psyche from the herniated disc. In general, however, it can be assumed that the first of these two subgroups will predominate. For some people, this could mean that they move less for fear of another herniated disc, may stop exercising, etc.
Furthermore, the effects on the psyche are of course also dependent on whether the herniated disc can be remedied without leaving any residue or whether consequential damage has resulted from it. For example, muscle paralysis or an incontinence problem after a herniated disc could cause people to begin to isolate themselves socially because they feel ashamed in front of other people.

Appointment with a specialist for a herniated disc?

I would be happy to advise you!

Who am I?
My name is dr. Nicolas Gumpert. I am a specialist in orthopedics and the founder of .
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A herniated disc is difficult to treat. On the one hand it is exposed to high mechanical loads, on the other hand it has great mobility.

Therefore, treating a herniated disc requires a lot of experience.
The aim of any treatment is treatment without surgery.

Which therapy achieves the best results in the long term can only be determined after looking at all of the information (Examination, X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc.) be assessed.

You can find me in:

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    60311 Frankfurt am Main

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Further information about myself can be found at Dr. Nicolas Gumpert

When can psychotropic drugs help with a herniated disc?

Whether and to what extent psychotropic drugs can help to get the psychological consequences of a tape incident under control depends of course on the underlying psychological problem. For example, drugs with a mood-enhancing effect could be used if the affected person slips into a depressive phase as a result of the herniated disc. They could also be used in disinhibited behavior in order to curb those affected in their excessive urge to be active, if this is perceived as a burden. In general, however, psychotropic drugs should be handled according to the “as little as possible, as much as necessary” procedure. In addition, it is advisable in such a setting to supplement drug therapy with psychological therapy or to precede it.
However, psychotropic drugs can only treat psychological consequences or illnesses. Physical limitations cannot be treated with these drugs. Overall, however, a lot of people could benefit from treatment if properly prescribed.

How can psychotherapy help with a herniated disc?

If psychological problems arise for the affected person from the herniated disc or if relatives and close people are of the opinion that the affected person suffers from the herniated disc or its consequences, there is nothing that speaks against psychotherapeutic treatment. Medicines do not always have to be used here. Problems can often be treated successfully with talk therapy. In general, it is advisable to start appropriate therapy at an early stage if you feel that you cannot cope with the situation on your own.
Often it is fearful thoughts that can hinder those affected. These are analyzed and treated with the help of psychotherapy. Should it even go so far that there are restrictions in everyday life for the person concerned that are not physically caused, psychotherapy can also help here to achieve a regular daily routine again and to break the psychological barriers.