Scans can be a very useful tool in helping us diagnose what’s going on when we’re feeling pain.  But do they tell us everything? 

A systematic literature review written by Brinjikji et al. (2015) of Imagine Features of Spinal Degeneration in Asymptomatic Populations showed us that:

  • the prevalence of disc degeneration in asymptomatic individuals increased from 37% of 20 year olds to 96% of 80 year olds
  • Disc bulge and disc protrusion in the asymptomatic population increased from 30% and 29% in 20 year olds to 84% and 49% of 80 year olds, respectively. 

What does this tell us? This tells us that scans don’t give us the whole story. We can still have degeneration, bludges and protrusions even though we are asymptomatic.  

What can we do with this information?  There are multiple other factors that can play a part in persistent lower back pain. If you feel like your back pain is causing you some issues, come see us in the clinic for a professional evaluation and diagnosis. 


T-Jai Lui

T-Jai Lui


Flex Physio’s T-Jai specialises in knees, ankles, lower backs and high-performance rehab . Using the latest evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning, he prides himself on getting the best outcomes for anyone who comes through the door. 
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