Steve Briggs, lead clinician at the SB Physio & Sports Injury Clinic, says this situation is quite common, but not because a problem does not exist, rather that the pain has radiated away from the problem and manifested itself in another connected part of the body not under investigation.
He is urging people not to accept a ‘nothing detected, no further action’ diagnosis if the pain continues, but to pursue further investigation via a physiotherapist.
In addition, he says people should not stop doing things in the meantime just because it hurts, as inactivity can cause more problems.
“Generally speaking it is a myth that movement will make back pain worse," said Steve.
“Whilst there is a tendency for people to fear that twisting and bending will make it worse, in fact it is essential they keep moving.
"Maybe take things a little easier initially, but gradually increase how much you are doing and stay on the go.
"Back pain should not stop you enjoying exercise or regular activities. In fact, studies have found that continuing with them can help you get better sooner.
“People who go for a scan hope it will show exactly what is causing their pain.
"However, often it does not give a definitive answer, and they should not be disappointed or give up if this is the case.
"Even people without pain can have changes in their spine, so a scan can also cause fear that in turn influences physical behaviour in a way that could make the problem worse.
“Historically it was always considered that pain equals damage.
"Whilst that may sound logical, more recent research has changed the thinking and led clinicians in the physiotherapy field to take a more holistic approach, helping people to understand why they are in pain by showing them how pain can travel from the point of damage to the point where it actually hurts.”