Research shows MRI’s are NOT Reliable for Shoulder Pain

Research shows MRI’s are NOT Reliable for Shoulder 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…

It is a VERY EXPENSIVE SELFIE!
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 Rotator Cuff tears, labrel tears, arthritis, degenerative changes, Facet joint issues, Herniated discs, 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!

I can not tell you how many people came to our office with and MRI of a Torn Rotator Cuff and that was not where the source of the problem was coming from. Everyone was treating the shoulder when the problem was somewhere else.
Or worse they had Surgery on their rotator cuff and still had problems (major problems after the surgery and that was not where their problem was coming from.


And if you are getting a subacromial decompression surgery- STOP! The doctors are just looking at the imaging and do not know what to do and decided surgery will be your best option, especially when cookie cutter PT did not work. YOU are going to the WRONG place!

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 “Shoulder pain” 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 neck, thoracic spine and then move to her shoulder to figure out the source of her problem. She recently had really irritated her shoulder doing over head activities while cleaning her house.


We found tightness in her mobility in her neck and thoracic spine. It sounded like a shoulder problem, but you have to rule out the neck and mid back first. Lots of problems that appear to be a shoulder problem starts in the spine.
We started there. She had problems rotating her neck and mid back. She could not move her shoulder above her head very well or even reaching to the side or behind her body…


After we finished the treatment of her neck she was moving her shoulder much better and was not having nearly as much pain.


The next day we got a message saying she is amazed at how much her shoulder had improved (we did not even touch her shoulder).

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 rotator cuff tear. The MRI showed that he had a tear, he had pain, strength loss and limited mobiliy similar to what a rotator cuff 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 Rotator Cuff tear. We evaluated him and he did have lack of mobility in his shoulder, but we figured out the source of that and showed him some neck and mid back mobilizations along with some manual treatments and 4 weeks later he was on his way back to all his activities…


You have to go back to asking yourself, was this rotator cuff 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 rotator cuff tear.


If you image the shoulder, 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 shoulder.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO if you are suffering with shoulder pain?

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

  1. CLICK here to Sign up for our FREE Report on How To Eliminate neck and shoulder Pain
  2. Talk to one of our Neck and Shoulder Specialist 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 Shoulder and Neck pain- just CLICK HERE To Save YOUR SPOT to get the log-in details of this Event that is on Aug 17th at 5pm on “WHY Massage does NOT work for Neck and Shoulder Pain.”

3 ways to help you make a better decision about your Neck and Shoulder 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 Do not forget about our 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 one of our episodes on how We helped a client who suffered from shoulder pain and was able to get back to YOGA and doing the things she loved. Check out her story by CLICKING HERE and please share the podcasts to your friends and family.. We have some great episodes coming up.

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