Lower Back Pain: To Scan Or Not To Scan?

Lockdown has helped me develop many skills, amongst those… my persuasion skills!

I’ve heard from so many patients “I didn’t think there was any point trying physio until you can see the results of my scan, and I can’t get a scan at the moment due to the pandemic”

This is not the case!

I’ve found there is a little bit of miseducation amongst some of the general public about our role as a physio, what we can tell you from our external assessment of you, and what a scan can and can’t tell you…

As you will see from the MRI table, many asymptomatic people have changes in their lower backs that will show up on a scan, but do NOT experience pain!  

Having a scan often doesn’t tell us the answers we need!

In a physio appointment, our delving questions, and assessment of your movement and function will give us a good idea of what might be going on in your back, as well as the conservative treatment that is likely to help you!

Amongst our questions, we are also always playing detective, to try to ascertain if we think there is anything serious going on that either isn’t a musculoskeletal (physio-related) problem, or whether symptoms have become serious enough that treatment beyond conservative management is required.

So if you’re experiencing back pain at the moment, and want some help, don’t forget you can always drop me an email, and I’ll do my best to assess your symptoms, and get you on the right pathway to feeling better!

(Table Reference: Brinjiki et al (2015), Systematic literature review of imaging features of spinal degeneration in asymptomatic populations)

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