MRI findings and low back pain – Author discussions

We recently published a paper that identified an association between MRI imaging findings (disc degeneration and disc herniation) and a previous trajectory of low back pain with impact (care-seeking, taking medication, taking time off work/school and modification of activities) in young adults. While these imaging findings were also present in some young people without low back pain, they were more common in those with a trajectory of low back pain. The association was strongest when the MRI findings were present at two or more spinal levels.

Prof Anne Smith outlines the study, Prof Mark Hancock discusses these findings in context with the existing literature, Prof Peter O’Sullivan discusses what these findings mean for clinicians with regards to communication with patients and their management. Assoc Prof Peter Kent summarises the work and discusses future research opportunities.