In the clinic, we get a lot of questions about pain because it is the main reason people walk through the door. Today I am going to go through a brief review of pain and imaging. Imaging refers to radiographs (x-rays), MRIs, and CT scans. These are typically used to help a medical provider determine what is causing the pain and the best intervention to resolve the problem. What do we know? Numerous imaging studies ranging from the knee to the low back show that the level of pathology cannot predict a person’s pain experience. We cannot predict pain, the level of disability, or long-term activity based on an image. Individuals with chronic low back pain have been compared to those with no back pain. The findings on the imaging do not show consistent differences between these two samples. For example, a woman with nasty, limiting pain may show
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