‘As soon as (one’s back) starts to hurt, most people tend to want an x-ray or other scan, but experts generally agree that imaging is not necessary for low back pain. Exceptions include cases of known trauma to the spine, pain lasting for more than a month, and cases where there are warning signs of underlying disease causing the pain (such as cancer).’
‘As noted in the featured article:
“In rare cases, back pain can be due to dangerous pressure on the spinal cord … cancer in the spine or infection. Warning symptoms or ‘red flags’ for this include significant trauma, long-term steroid use, and a history of cancer. If your back hurts and you can’t stand up, pass urine, or feel your anus and genitals, you need to call an ambulance.”
Contrary to popular belief, disc degeneration does NOT cause back pain, so getting a scan and receiving a structural diagnosis of a bulging disc for example, is not going to be very helpful — at least not in terms of dictating a course of treatment. In many cases, such a diagnosis may simply lead to unnecessary surgery, which in many cases sends patients in a downward spiral of increasing pain and reduced mobility.
Even though it’s well recognized that disc degeneration is not a cause for back pain, spinal fusions are still popular. Some 600,000 spinal fusions are performed in the U.S. each year, with a high percentage of them being performed for non-specific low-back pain, at a cost of more than $600 billion. The results however are typically dismal.’
‘According to the medical literature, spinal fusions for back pain have a success rate of about 20 to 25 percent. For 75 to 80 percent of these patients, the surgery simply results in lifelong pain and suffering.’
From an article by Dr. Mercola: see