Many patients come into my office wondering why they’re in so much pain if their MRI shows that “nothing is wrong.” Many of them are almost embarrassed by their discomfort because, well, the MRI indicates nothing is wrong.
FACT: an MRI result is not a sign of how well you function or how much pain you should be in. An MRI can help to rule out certain diagnoses such as fractures and cancer, however getting better and decreasing pain has nothing to do with what is revealed on the MRI. Too many people have been led to believe in the diagnostic or healing powers of the MRI alone.
It’s important to understand the actual purpose of the MRI and the reality of what you might be feeling or experiencing.
Take, for example, the shoulder. Here’s what you should know:
Imaging can reveal certain tissue injuries such as tendon tears and bursal thickening. The patient, however, may feel absolutely no pain whatsoever. According to one study, 96% of people without any sort of pain or loss of function were found to have imaging changes such as tear and bursal thickening and many other problems.
What this should tell you is:
What’s seen on imaging may not be able to tell you where your pain is coming from;
What’s seen on imaging may not be the root cause of the problem.
At True North our goal is to get you better and not to “fix” what was found on the imaging. Once again, what was found on the imaging may not be reflected in either how good or bad you are feeling.
We will, of course, review your imaging as well conduct a thorough examination, including an assessment of your level of discomfort and loss of function and an evaluation of your mobility and flexibility.
Based upon this information we’ll develop a customized treatment plan that will address your specific needs regardless of what is shown on the MRI.
We understand that you want to be pain free and we intend to get you there!