I've been to four doctors for my low back pain that doesn't go away. Nobody can find anything wrong. I'm not making up this pain, believe me. Why can't they tell what's wrong with me?
You're not alone in your frustration about having back pain without a known cause. It makes sense to think that back pain comes from some abnormality in the spine or soft tissues around it. But in many cases no structural pathology can be found. New studies are starting to show that back pain patients can be broken down into groups. The groups are based on age of the patients and type or location of pain. One subgroup has been identified called lumbar segmental instability. In this group there is a loss of spinal stiffness. Too much motion occurs between the vertebrae. The patient may even describe a feeling or sensation of "instability catch." This occurs when one vertebra slides too much against the vertebra above or below it. Once researchers can put back pain patients in groups then proper treatment can be found.