A cross-sectional prevalence study of lumbar disc degeneration in a working population

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1989 Jan;14(1):60-4. doi: 10.1097/00007632-198901000-00012.


The prevalence of lumbar degenerative discs (LDD) was determined in 38 ambulating and 21 sedentary employees of a Rocky Mountain company. Lumbar degenerative discs were identified by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed with a sagittal T2 image of the lumbar spine using a .5 Tesla unit. The L5-S1 level was the most common disc with degenerative changes. Analysis of the two groups showed a significant association at the L5-S1 level between occupation and LDD, as evidenced by the ambulating females having no degenerative lumbar discs and sedentary females having a large number of degenerative discs. The males in the study did not demonstrate a significant difference in prevalence of LDD. Lumbar degenerative discs may be increased in less active females at the L5-S1 level.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colorado
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / diagnosis
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / epidemiology*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Occupations