And the cost of not remaining 'precise and honest' can be profound. Take the perspective of someone with back pain reading their local paper for example – the hype would have around this antibiotic study clearly reignited dwindling hope of a ‘magic bullet’. I have already received a dozen phone calls asking if I am trained to do antibiotic therapy and I can almost hear the hope on the other end of the line and cringe as I suffocate it in the wet blanket of truth. There is clearly a wider cost of spinning for impact here: the ripple effect of potentially false hope across the millions of people who are suffering and do not understand why.
I believe that chronic back pain is a multifactorial problem. I believe that persistent pain is associated with changes in sensitivity throughout the nociceptive neuraxis, and with multiple system dysfunction. I believe that persistent pain is evidence that the brain still concludes that a body part needs protecting and working out why this is the case can be very very difficult. I believe the evidence in support of my position is very compelling. It is difficult for people in pain to accept this position because it implies that the journey to recovery will necessarily be a long and difficult one, rather than a short and easy one.