Why is my back still painful?

There was a very interesting population of people that were reported by a group of researchers in 2012. The researchers (McCullough et al 2012) reported on people that had had their lower backs looked at via MRI (a special type of scan – like an x-ray but much better quality).

What they found was that this group of people had the following findings on their MRI’s:

  • 91% had disc degeneration
  • 56% had disc bulges
  • 32% had disc protrusions
  • 38% had annular tears (a tear in the disc)

Doesn’t sound good does it! These people must have be in terrible pain and distress.

Guess what……..ALL OF THESE PEOPLE WERE PAIN FREE AND DOING NORMAL ACTIVITIES!!!!

The question that often comes to mind when we tell patients this information is:

Why is my back still painful if these other people can be pain free?

This is a tough question to answer as there can be a variety of factors. The best approach to figure out why your back is still sore is to be assessed by one of our highly trained clinicians to identify what factors might be playing a part in your situation. An individualised treatment/management plan can then be devised.

Based on the above the one thing  you can be very confident about is that it is unlikely that your disc degeneration, disc bulge, disc protrusion or annular tear is holding you back from improving!

Thanks for reading.