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Medical investigations

Doctors and patients can both get caught up in an almost endless search for a cure or a clear diagnosis of what’s causing the pain. Searching for a medical solution is understandable, but it can delay people in starting to learn to manage their pain.

With the right support and guidance from healthcare professionals, people can move towards playing an active role in their care, often becoming less dependent on medication.

Top tip: results on MRI scans don’t usually help us to understand what’s behind persistent back pain – many people without pain will have ‘bulging discs’.

Find out more: Pain Concern’s ‘Managing Medications’ leaflet has really helpful advice on using pain medications effectively and how to reduce your medications safely.

To read the transcript of this programme, please click here.

Published September 2015. Text to be reviewed September 2018.


Hi I have watched this video and agree totally with it. I injured my back over two years ago and have been trying to get a diagnosis, I have had an x-ray and MRI scan but been told apart from wear and tear, small herniation on a disk and a bulging disc there is nothing sinister. I have injured my back previously and just walked it off.This injury didn’t get better so I thought maybe it was serious and get very frustrated not being able to get an answer. I have been trying to exercise, walking, stretching and this helps but my back always feels like it will go again and sometimes it does, this is described as set backs.The set backs makes me less confident but I have to keep moving and hope it will get better.

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