Never before has back pain been so widely discussed, and its management so hotly contested. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and commercial television programs lately are all buzzing about the ‘boring’ topic of Chronic Low Back Pain. Even the Pain Medicine Faculty of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) “advised doctors not to refer patients with mechanical or axial low back pain for spinal surgery”, as quoted in the Australian newspaper (14 Febuary 2018).
I read with interest the article on page 48 of March 2018 Surgical News, about stem cell research and how the 9.4 Tesla MRI can demonstrate blood vessels and nerve fibres growing in degenerate and compromised lumbar discs… and how this may be the cause of chronic low back pain. The article made no link between the obvious disconnect between imaging features of degeneration and the manifestation of back pain symptoms.