The importance of using a common language when communicating to others about back pain is acknowledged in the literature. There are broadly three areas where difficulties in communication about back pain arise. Firstly, patients seeking information from health care professionals can experience difficulties understanding them and the medical literature; secondly, misunderstandings among health professionals concerning terminology can arise. Thirdly, the lack of standardised definitions for back pain terms can make comparison of research studies problematic. This study aims to explore the meanings and issues surrounding the use of existing medical terms for back pain from the perspective of health care professionals, lay people who have consulted health care practitioners for back pain and lay people who have not seen a health care professional regarding back pain.
PainSA is a chapter of the International Association for the Study of Pain. Our mission is to improve all aspects of pain management in Southern Africa.