Question: I have nerve pain but I do not have any nerve impingement from my DDD. How is that possible?

I have degenerative disc disease in my L4/L5 and L5/S1. According to my MRI, I don't have a disc herniation or stenosis (no nerve impingement), but I definitely have nerve pain. It is a stinging/burning pain that goes down into my thigh, my lower leg, and into my feet, and sometimes some slight numbness at the skin level. Can nerve pain come from the discs themselves? If so, can you explain how this might happen?

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Doctor’s Response: Degenerative Disc Disease can cause nerve pain without impingement

Inflammation from the discs can cause the nerves to hurt without any nerve impingement. There is also the possibility that something else is causing the pain.

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In Spine-health’s Doctor Advice section, physicians respond to frequently asked questions about back pain issues. These responses represent the opinion of one physician, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the broader medical community. The advice presented has not been peer reviewed by Spine-health’s medical advisory board.