I have recently had a few patients that have called my office and they have said,
“ I want to get another MRI to compare to my last MRI that was 6 months ago before I start treatment.”
So often, patients feel that an MRI is going to give them answers as what is going on and what needs to happen. While there is a place for MRI’s, most of the time they are overused and can lead to overtreatment. Hopefully the education below will help you make a more informed decision as to whether you need to spend your money or time on an MRI..
So here are my reasons why you many NOT want to get an MRI…
1. The research on MRI’s clearly showing that if you image a person who has no issues and is fully functional, 60-80% of them will show degenerative changes, or labral tears, RTC tears, meniscal tears, herniated disc, etc.
These problems like herniated discs, degenerative changes that are being seen on imaging, is like saying your wrinkles on your face is problem and it needs to get fix. It is just something that happens as we age and that is what the imaging is picking up, the things that just happen as we age. Based on what the research shows on normal people with no problem, you must wonder, is this something that has been there or is it truly a problem. You will not know without a thorough evaluation and to see how your body responds to treatments. Always try to conservative care and find someone who is an expert in finding the solutions to the problem. Not treat a symptom of the problem.
2. I always say where the source of the pain is located is not always where the source of the pain is located.
I have had patients that had surgery on their shoulder because that is where their pain was located (RTC and subacromial decompression) and they did not get better after surgery. They had an MRI in all the cases which then lead to surgery. They were told it was going to take time to get better after surgery when they were still having issues. But when they finally came to my office they had a neck issue.
The pain was located in the shoulder and they had difficulty moving their shoulder, so that is where all the healthcare providers looked. No one every asked enough questions and truly do a movement screen to really figure out where the source is coming from.
The same can happen other areas of the body. I have seen a patient that wanted to have back surgery, but in reality after 3 visits we ruled out the back and found out that the pain was coming from their hips! As we have been addressing the hips, the pain is finally going away after them dealing with the pain for 2 years….
3. I like to say an MRI is an expensive Selfie.
I like to compare an MRI to taking a picture of a telephone that does not work.. It is just a picture.. You see that the phone needed to be charged… But that did not fix it…
In reality it could be the phone just does not work, or you do not service to the phone, or you need a new battery. It takes an evaluation to get to the source of the problem. A picture does not always do that. So before doing surgery and procedures lets make sure we have the correct source of the problem.
What does all this mean?
With all that said, when we get patients that present with red flags, this is an issue and testing is needed.. It is just that testing sometimes gets overused to sitting down and having a conversation and questioning the patient. Moving the patient to get a true picture of what possible is going on. It is like research. We have 2-3 possible problems. Now lets rule in our out those possible problems by moving them.
I always like to ask my patients.. Is this MRI going to change the outcome of the direction you want to go?
Most want to go down the route of conservative care….
Get to a Healthcare provider that is good at diagnosing…
Someone who will spend time with you to answer your questions and explain what is going on…
At mPower Physical Therapy in Dallas we are staffed with therapists that are good at getting to the source of the problem. Spending one on one time with you guide you through the process of getting you back to what you love doing.
If you would like to speak to one of our physical therapist to just ask questions and see if you need an MRI or if you want guidance an injury or pain you are having, just Click Here to fill out a form so we can get you scheduled to speak with one of our Physical Therapists.
at mPower Physical Therapy in Dallas, we are here to be a resource for you…