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Too many patients get sent off for scans including X-rays and MRIs and told that their back pain is caused by whatever the doctors and specialists find on those scans. But hold on a second, folks! Let’s dig deeper into this fascinating topic and uncover the truth behind those mysterious scans.
Medical scans rarely show what is actually causing your pain.
Surprising, isn’t it? There have been countless studies that examined MRI scans of people who have never experienced back pain at all. Yes, you read that right—zero back pain! And yet, the results reveal disc bulges, arthritis, and a whole bunch of other spinal conditions.
So, what does this mean for you?
Well, brace yourself for a revelation. Disc bulges and arthritis are actually normal aging changes of the spine. Many folks have them without feeling a single ounce of pain. Scans are fantastic at showing things, but they’re not so great at telling us how relevant those findings are to your pain. Think of them as snapshots of your spine—they don’t reveal how things move or give us any insight into their duration. If you’re not careful, you might end up misinformed about what’s truly causing your back pain. And that can lead to ineffective, costly treatments and unnecessary worry.
Why should I bother with scans at all, then?
This is a valid question! Seeing things on imaging and relating them to your clinical presentation can bring some peace of mind. It helps to rule out any serious diseases and provide reassurance. The key is to seek out a healthcare professional who genuinely wants the best outcome for you, not just their own profit. Remember, the national average amount of treatments required for an osteopath treating low back pain is 4.62 treatments, according to ACC statistics. A credible health professional should inform you of a predicted prognosis—how many treatments you’ll likely need and when to review progress if things aren’t going as expected. Don’t let yourself go through ten treatments without a clear explanation of the reasons behind the extended duration or the lack of additional information.