Are you in pain? Have you had an MRI?
Do the results from the MRI tell the whole story?
Recent studies show that a large percentage of people with positive pathology in their MRI actually have no pain and experience no decrease in quality of life. Here are some statistics related to patients obtaining an MRI that show how MRI results may not be the entire reason why you are in pain.
87.6% of subjects in this study had a positive disc bulge in their neck
75% of people in their 20’s had a disc bulge of their neck
80% of people at age 50 had a positive MRI of disc degeneration in their low back
36% of people at age 50 had a positive MRI of a disk protrusion in their lumbar spine
43% had a positive MRI of a meniscal abnormality of at least one knee (age 20-68)
72% had a positive MRI for a SLAP injury in a shoulder (age 45-60)
69% had a positive MRI of a hip labral tear (age 15-60)
What all of the people in this study had in common is that none of them are in pain. This raises the question, will their structural defects ever cause an increase in pain? In the majority of instances, inflammation may cause increased pain, not the structural deficits noted in the MRI.
These findings show that not all pain is due to a positive MRI finding for pathology. That means there is another root cause of pain. Here at JGPT, we specialize in manual therapy techniques that help us identify the root of the problem in order to improve your pain and your function. Come in today for an assessment to begin your road to recovery.
Resources: Cervical: Nakashima, H et. al Spine (Phila PA 1976), 2015.
Lumbar: Brinjikji, W et. al AM J Neuroadiol, 2014.
Knee: Beattie, K.A. et al. Osteoarthritis Cartilage, 2005.
Shoulder: Schwarzburg, R. et. al. Orthrop J Sports Med, 2016.
Hip: Register, B. et. al Am J Sports Med, 2012.