Why do my pain levels and my scan results not coincide?
Have you ever been to the doctor for back or joint pain and he has advised that go for a scans, i.e. MRI or CT scan or X rays back? The scan results come back and they do not coincide with your pain levels. Maybe you have excruciating pain but all your scans show are some minor degenerative changes. Or there are extensive changes in your scans but you don’t have any major pain symptoms. 
It can also happen that you have had some recent changes in pain levels but your scans don’t reflect this or you have major changes in your scans but you don’t have any additional pain or symptoms. 
These discrepancies between your pain levels and scan results are normal. A doctor will always consider these two parameters together and they both have an important role to play in your treatment. But if your doctor is not able to explain these differences to your satisfaction let your pain levels be the deciding factor. Listen to your body on an everyday basis and see how you feel about your pain levels. You are the best judge remember that when it comes to your body. How do you feel about your body? How do you feel about your symptoms? How do you feel about your pain levels and then take it from there. Discuss these with your doctor and ask him how you can alleviate your pain symptoms.
 
Please note that this does not hold true for progressive disease or a cancer. Usually for those the doctors need to monitor at certain times of the year but this is general advise on spinal and joint pains. 
 
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