We used to think that if we got a good enough picture of the spine with scans that it would be a big help in solving back pain. However, we now know that this is most often not the case.
When people have scans for back pain, the scans often show up things that are poorly linked with pain. In fact, studies have shown that even people who don’t have back pain have things like bulging discs (52pc of people), degenerated or black discs (90pc), herniated discs (28pc) and ‘arthritic’ changes visible (38pc).
Remember, these people do NOT have pain! Unfortunately, people with back pain are often told that these things indicate their back is damaged, and this can lead to further fear, distress and avoidance of activity. The fact is that many of these things reported on scans are more like baldness – an indication of ageing and genetics that do not have to be painful.