A Closer Look

I was taking a continuing education course, and the instructor told us a quote by a researcher.  It went something like, “the best thing I ever did was take MRI’s of non-symptomatic people.”  

What the researcher was saying is that he found that, for example, lumbar stenosis and disc degeneration issues were also shown on MRI’s of people who had no symptoms of low back pain. When he charted the results among the different age groups, the low back issues found on the MRI’s were in much higher percentages as people got older. But just because they were found to have stenosis and disc degeneration, it didn’t necessarily equate to pain – these people were symptom-free. 

This really confirmed my thoughts and attitudes.  When I’m in the clinic and a patient feels they might not ever get better because they have a certain diagnosis show up on their MRI, I feel that’s putting themselves in a box.  

As a musculoskeletal specialist ( physical therapist), I can look closer and dig deeper in the areas of muscles, other soft tissues, and joints. Many are surprised to find that there were indeed more ways of finding pain relief than they had originally thought. 

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