Friday, July 10, 2009
MRI's, Low Back Pain and Thoughts
Ever have back pain? Studies say that 80% of us will have experienced it before your time on this earth is through. Want to know something else? People with healthy backs that have never had low back pain, probably have something wrong with theirs, it's just not symptomatic. In a landmark study in the early 90's, healthy people with out low back pain were given MRI's and the results were shocking. 50-60% had some time of disc bulge or herniation, and 30% had a disc herniation. Again, these people were pain free! The MRI's were shown to doctors and more then 2/3 said the people should have been in a lot of pain.
What does this mean? It means cause doesn't equal symptoms and sometimes symptoms don't equal cause. Just because you have herniation doesn't mean you have pain. So therefore just because you have low back pain, sciatica and your told to get an MRI and it shows, low and behold, you have a disc herniation, DOES NOT mean that is the source.
So when your told to get an MRI, ask these questions. What is it for exactly? They should give a specific reason. "Get a better idea of what's going" does not qualify.
If it shows what your looking for, then what? Ask what are the options. If the options are the same wether you know the answer or not, then what's the point?
If I don't get the MRI what are my options?
One important one to ask yourself is if the MRI shows I have a disc herniation and they want to do surgery is that what I want to do. If you answered no, then a MRI probably isn't right for you.
Remember, MRI's are expensive, (I spent close to 1400 bucks for an elbow MRI this spring, and yes I had insurance!) if your not willing to go under the knife, your should probably save your money and pursue non invasive treatments to there full.