Schmorl’s nodes treatment

Every day you walk upright; you lay down on your back; you practice yoga; you run, swim, bike and climb…but how often do you think about the impact of all of these activities on the delicate and complicated support system known as your spine?

Your spine is a beautiful sculpture created by combining vertebrae (small, individual bone masses) with gel like discs. The vertebrae, each a separate bone, lock together and between them sits a plush disc ready to cushion each of your jolting movements, you know, like the running, standing walking, biking and all the rest of the activities we mentioned above. This structure, while complicated, is what gives your back the flexibility it needs to bend and move as it does. In order to truly understand this, consider how your leg bends. It bends in only one place—the knee. Your back, on the other hand, can bend and roll up all the way from your hips to your shoulders. That is thanks to the structure of your vertebrae.

Any of these activities, when done too aggressively or with the wrong posture, can result in a herniated disc. A herniated disc occurs when that gel like disc between the vertebrae ruptures and no longer creates a cushion between the two bones. As you can imagine, this results in the painful pressing together of these two vertebrae and possible bone loss as well as the inability to comfortably take part in everyday activities.

But what if you didn’t do anything aggressive or unnatural before your disc became herniated? What if you just had a minor trauma—one that most people would escape injury free? If that describes your situation, then you might have Schmorl’s Nodes syndrome.

About Schmorl’s Nodes Syndrome
Schmorl’s nodes is thought to be a deformity in your vertebrae that allows the cartilage from your discs to poke through and create a weak spot in your disc with some fluid leakage, obviously weakening your disc to impact or trauma and making every step you take risky. Although it is important to note that it has also happened to normal individuals after an extreme trauma.

This disorder was discovered by a German doctor in 1927 and is thought to be in many people who never actually exhibit symptoms of the disease. If it is found, it is because of the extreme back pain that it causes, described by one sufferer as extending from his very eyelashes to the tips of his toes.

Schmorl’s Nodes Treatment
Schmorl’s nodes treatment generally consists simply of pain management. Through aggressive pain medications and morphine patches as well as therapeutic massages conducted by chiropractors, many patients are able to love relatively normal lives although they are encouraged to avoid all heavy lifting and many types of exercise.

Some patients undergoing Schmorl’s nodes treatment will be asked to wear a brace for a number of months and use an anti-inflammatory medication. More aggressive cases may be treated by fusing portions of the spine together to prevent the vertebrae from rubbing together and causing pain and bone deterioration.

While no one wants a diagnosis of Schmorl’s nodes and Schmorl’s nodes treatment are a long way from an actual cure, you can still live a full life once you have the disease. As with any back injury you must always be cognizant of any undue pressure you are putting on your spine and be sure to manage your pain in a healthy way.

If you think you may have Schmorl’s nodes or any back disorder, see a chiropractor immediately. The back is a delicate structure and you can make your situation much worse if you let it go untreated.

Last updated on Dec 10th, 2009 and filed under Musculoskeletal Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Responses for “Schmorl’s nodes treatment”

  1. ronald glosson says:

    i have had a transmission fall on my chest in may of 08 my pain didnt start right away it was a few weeks later when at work i twisted and felt a pop on my spine between my shoulders thats when my pain started, so if anyone ever has a compression type injury it is to my experience to go to the dr imediately cause the dr will not ask if you injured yourself a few weeks before you started hurting this really messed up things for me. learn from my mistake my t4 through t11 all have schmorls nodes and yes it is very painfull ,and because doctors dont look at schmorls nodes as being painfull they dont persue this as being a problem and workers comp will not treat them as i have learned , but i have now got a good lawyer and hopefully by the time were done with this case they will. listen !! dont let anyone tell you that they are normal in a mri as i was told i cant get out of bed without narcodics i know its not good for me but right now im only 31 years old and have a young family i cant give up at this time in my life i’m looking into spinal cord stimulator to help with the pain

  2. Carrie Collins says:

    Ronald, I can relate to your pain . I have Schmorl nodes and I live in pain everyday. I know what you mean about taking pain medication to get up and on with your day. Unfortunately, working in the medical field, a lot of Dr.’s , medical staff and people in general, look down on people who take pain medications and that you are just a drug seeker. I have been on pain meds for a lot of years, but also hold down a full-time job, and at times I don’t think I can continue that. It doesn’t matter if I exercise,yoga, walk or do nothing at all, I Hurt! Hang in there and take it one day at a time. You can’t give up, just don’t listen to negative or critical people, they just cause more stress and more pain. I found not to share my health with other’s , just my family and a few good friends. The thing is your not looking for sympathy and at times you just want to cry about the whole darn thing! Make sure you get a second opinion or a third before you let anyone cut into you. Check your Dr. out on your State Medical Board’s website,it is public info.. All the info is there about your Dr. and if their are any law suits that have been filed, or settled. Good luck!

    • Scott Craythorn says:

      Carrie i am interested in your story
      I am a 21 year old and am currently attending medical school in australia.
      I recently received a diagnosis of Schmorl’s nodes (after years of pain under diagnosis of scheurrmann’s disease) and am fairly uncertain about my future.
      As i’m sure you know, standing, sitting and doing anything really is cause for pain, and the only medications that help with the pain are those which tend to foggy up the mind somewhat (opiates etc). is there any hope for me to finish my training and become a medical practitioner? are there any tips you can give me that will help me get through it?

    • Gravbong says:

      I know how u feel friend. I had this diagnosed in 2002, and this didn’t let me join the air force as a fighter pilot even though i finished all the physical and psychometric tests in flying colors. For many years i used nimusilide which after many years i got to know damages your liver. i have stopped medication now, and have started practicing yoga. it helps a lot now. at least i can walk or stand for more than 10 min, which i was not able to do before.

  3. Mike Drinkwater says:

    I know nothing about schmorl’s nodes. My MRI says I have them. I’ve been told it is a herniated disc. Is it more permanent of significant than a bulging disc. I should also tell you that my MRI says that I have herniated discs; Should I be in pain because of these schmorl’s nodes? On a 1to 10 should I be a 5, 10, what? I should also tell you that my MRI says I have bulging discs. I am constantly in pain My doctor prescribes me 2 60 MS Cotton pills plus 3 5mg Percocet tablets a day; I think he is under prescribing me. Is there any professional willing to stick there neck out there for me (i.e. leave name, professional title (ie. MD,DO, etc…) and if possible a phone number my md can cal) lr should be noted that Im 6’6″ 280 pounds. Thank you, Mike my contact info is or 3202175972 or 3297614156 thank you.

  4. kk says:

    I was diagnosed with schmorl’s nodes l1 and t12 about four years ago. i’m in extreme pain can’t sleep can’t bend over. hip pain numbness in right leg my question is what treatments are there i’ve already talked to several surgeons about my case. they say nothing can be done without making it worse. i have good muscle and bone structure, spine is in line, node is protruding into spinal cord causing pain if operate will make worse. don’t want drugs only temporary fix through time won’t work and will be left strungout. does anyone know of anything experimental anything surely someone is trying to find cure

  5. kayla says:

    I am also suffering through this frustrating situation. Over the past couple months my back pain has increased drastically. 2 years ago I was in a car accident. I went to the ER with back pain where they insisted it was just whip-lash but didn’t do xrays. I returned demanding xrays where I had to argue with the doctor that something wasnt right and needed xrays then was told everything was fine. My back pain gradually got worse. Of course I settled shortly after with the insurance company because as a average working american, I live paycheck to paycheck, and needed a car asap to get back and forth to work. My back pain is now to the point where sitting, sleeping, lifting, bending, you name it, it hurts me. I finally seeked help from a chiropractor to help with my pain but nothing helped. I finally reached the point of tears just simply trying to work, I went to the doc for something for the pain. He found what he believes is a schmorl’s node. He was pretty clueless about the finding he had to search his computer for info to explain it. I was told there was nothing to do. He wanted me to take ibprophen (which didn’t touch the pain) and put ice on it everyday. I was so frustrated at this point. It was either suffer or risk later developing ulcers from the excessive use of ibprophen. I have collected my medical records from the hospital along with a cd with my past xrays. The fracture is clear as day in the film and I’m no MD. I plan on seeking help from a lawyer. I don’t know if I have something here but I worry what this could turn into. I’m only 22 years old, I’m not ready for back surgeries, possible disability or this pain for the rest of my life. Something that was just a cracking back with some pain after lifting and working has turned into my entire back being tight all the time with burning between my shoulder blades, hips hurting, neck pain and tenderness, numbness in my fingers at times, lower back pain, not to mention the lack of sleep from not being able to get comfortable .. some of my worse pain comes when I’m just simply sitting down. I feel for anyone going through this. Its a very lonely situation having everyone tell you you’re stuck with it and u have no options. I hope that soon they will figure something out to help those of us suffering with something the medical field seems to no very little about.

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