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Research Shows MRI’s are NOT Reliable for Knee Pain

One of the questions we get all the time is do I need and MRI, or do you need to look at my MRI?

I say no.. And here are 2 reasons why…


Did you know that if you image 100 people that have no pain and can do all their activities, research shows you will find 60-80% of them will show problems such as meniscal tears, arthritis, degenerative changes, knee cap arthritis, etc. 

These are people that have NO PAIN or PROBLEMS… So, when you hurt you may have something show up that was there before your pain even started that is NOT THE PROBLEM!

2. Where the site of the pain is not often where the source of the problem is located! The body is connected.

For example, we recently had a client come into the office with “bad knees.” She tried physical therapy before, and they were not sure what to do with her. She stopped going as she did not have confidence in them ever helping her be able to work out again so she could deal with her stress levels at work. Can you relate?

She came into our office. We did an evaluation. We told her that we are going to rule out her back, hip and knee and get to the source of her problem. She recently had really irritated her knee over the weekend which was making it even more difficult to even walk.

We found tightness in her mobility in her hip… We started there. She had problems going up a step. After we finished the treatment getting her hip to move better, she was having a much easier time going up a step. The next day we got a message saying she is amazed at how much her knees have improved (we did not even touch her knees). For the first time in years she has HOPE that she just might be able to manage her situation.

We had another patient who was told they needed to have surgery for a meniscal tear. The MRI showed that he had a tear, he had pain and limited mobility similar to what a meniscal tear would present. The problem is he did not know what he did. He just started to have pain. This always puts up a red flag for me when a doctor wants to do surgery and the patient has no clue what they did.

He decided to come into my office instead of having surgery for his meniscal tear. We evaluated him and he did have lack of mobility in his knee, but we figured out the source of that and showed him some knee self mobilizations along with some manual treatments and 3 weeks later he was back to all his activities.. You have to go back to asking yourself, was this meniscal tear there before he started to hurt.. Probably, because as I said 60-80% of NORMAL people will show problems on their imaging much like a meniscal tear.

If you imagine the knee, when your problem is somewhere else you might have surgery on something that MAY NOT BE THE PROBLEM…. There are so many sources that can refer pain to the knee.


At mPower Physical Therapy in Dallas, we have 3 options for you to learn more about what to do about your knees.

  1. CLICK here to Sign up for our FREE Report on How To Eliminate Knee Pain  
  2. Talk to one of our Knee Specialists for FREE to help you make a better decision about your health. Click here to get your spot. Spots are limited as we only open up a couple of spots a week for this.
  3. Come to our Next workshop on knee pain-  just send us an email by CLICKING HERE to ask for the log-in details of the next event.

3 ways to help you make a better decision about your knee pain. We are here to help you navigate your health to help you get to the source of the problem and get you a resolution to your problem quicker and get you back to doing what you love to do!

P.S…Also we started a PODCAST (mPower Your Life) where you can learn even more of the top tips to keep you healthy and living your best life.. Check it out by CLICKING HERE and please share the podcasts to your friends and family.. We have some great episodes coming up.