Low back pain is one of the most common presentations seen by physiotherapists. Many people who suffer from low back pain are looking for an explanation or structural diagnosis to justify their pain and discomfort.
A study investigating MRI findings of the lower back in people who had no symptoms found:
- 25% had herniated discs
- 50% had buldging discs
- 20% had stenosis (>60yrs)
The reason behind this is that as we age, it is normal for us to have degenerative or ‘wear and tear’ changes throughout our body, and these changes do not equal pain. Over time, degeneration is a naturally occurring process in the human body!
It is important to remember that changes found on a scan do not necessarily relate to symptoms and can be unrelated to your pain. In many cases, people can be come fixed on the result of their scan, limiting their function and perception of recovery.
Adding to this, did you know that a CT scan of the lumbar spine (lower back) is the equivalent of up to 600 chest xrays? Or standing in the sun for 3 years naked? This amount of radiation through CT scan should be avoided if they are not warranted or essential.
Guidelines currently recommend that for back pain lasting less than 3 months, x-rays or other scans including MRI and CT are not recommended. There are, however, some exceptions and your GP may request scans earlier.
For a thorough assessment of your low back book into one of our friendly physiotherapists today who can assist you in your recovery.
For more information or to making a booking, call us now on 8342 1233
Prospect | Findon | Blackwood | Burnside Hospital