Normal Changes in the Spine
Back pain is a common complaint that can often lead to imaging such as X-rays or MRIs. While these tests can provide useful information, it’s important to remember that they can also show normal changes in the spine that may not necessarily cause pain. For example, research has shown that 93% of people over the age of 70 have disc degeneration on an MRI, but do not experience back pain. Similarly, 77% of people in this age group may have a disc bulge, but not experience pain. It’s important to remember that just because a report from an imaging test shows certain changes in the spine, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the individual will experience pain or disability.
Imaging and Back Pain
If you are experiencing back pain or have received an imaging report with potentially alarming findings, it can be helpful to speak with a physiotherapist. These professionals are skilled at interpreting test results and explaining them in a way that is easy to understand. They can also provide guidance on ways to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and other factors that can help reduce pain and improve overall function.
Seeking Professional Guidance for Back Pain and Imaging Results
It’s also important to remember that normal aging can cause changes in the spine such as decreased flexibility and changes in the height of discs. These changes do not necessarily mean that an individual will experience pain or have limited mobility.
The Role of Physiotherapists in Managing Back Pain
If you have back pain or have received an imaging report that you are concerned about, don’t hesitate to speak with a physiotherapist. They can provide education and guidance to help you better understand your condition and take steps to reduce pain and improve function.