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MRI Misleading

Is MRI Misleading in Spinal Problems Need Physical Assessment?

MRI ­­­ is used worldwide for spinal problem detection and underlying soft tissue problems which are not otherwise visible on a digital X-RAY.

It has many benefits on other devices like CT SCAN and X-RAY that it doesn’t use ionizing radiations and is a pain-free process to get with.

No doubt MRI is standard equipment, but it also has led to misleading spinal diagnoses.

In many cases, it shows a normal MRI of the asymptomatic spine. Also, there is a defective spine in MRI while the patient is perfectly alright.

No doubt MRI is miracle equipment to detect spinal and deep tissue problems which otherwise go unchecked but in many cases of low back pain, the results of MRI are false.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses strong magnetic waves along with radio waves to create an extensive image of the structures and organs within the body.

An incorrect result will lead to a wrong diagnosis and even false treatment of the patient.  A false diagnosis also delayed the recovery of the patient.

In our practice, we go initially with radiological findings of an X-RAY and MRI.

We must put these to the end because they are least useful in your low back pain and even they don’t detect the exact cause that might be causing your low backache.

Doctors should go for radiological findings only when the patient’s condition is severe that is with persistent neurological findings.

It’s a common routine practice to go for radiological processes in initials of a low back pain that might be due to some muscle spasm or systemic issue and not going to be visible in any of the X-RAYs or MRIs.

Not only is this but a minor thing on MRI considered as the cause of their pain that’s going to worsen over time.

It’s a whole large useless thing to make complicated on the basis of a wrong MRI.

Better imaging requires a better doctor and a better system. One must not rely on MRI for his/her shortcomings in actually ruling out the exact cause of pain in the spine.

Doctors must have enough of their practice that they know when to recommend an MRI and when to go with their knowledge to assess the leading causing of pain in the spine.

In a nutshell, MRI is not going to rule your back pain and spinal problems symptoms exactly. So we should go for a thorough history of a patient with all the medical and family history.

Physical assessment is key to ruling out the cause of the spinal problems.

Checking the ranges, muscle function, tone, functional disability, and physical hurdles the patient is facing.

Palpation is fundamental in physical assessment to check which structure is actually causing the problem either from the joint, capsule, fascia, or muscle.

Palpation also helps to rule out the underlying systemic issue. Instead of wasting much time and money on MRI, we should go for a thorough physical examination before undergoing any radiological process.

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