What is your MRI not telling you?

Low back pain is a common orthopedic condition that affects quality of life, function, and overall health. The evolution of medical imaging has resulted in an increase frequency of MRI/X-Ray/CT scans. The treatments for low back pain include, medication, rest, physical therapy/chiropractic, and supervised exercise.

As a strength and conditioning facility who has physical therapists on staff, we often work with clients who are coming off of an injury. The challenge that coaches and therapists have to overcome is having to work around the MRI. Herniated or bulging disks in an MRI or X-Ray (reality, X-rays can’t diagnose bulging disks), may cause clients to be fearful of picking objects off the floor, squatting and doing many other functional activities. However, research has shown that MRIs present many false positives and a large proportion of them do not show enough information to dictate level/method of treatment. These findings may actually increase the fear and anxiety with movement, which can intensify pain and stiffen joints/muscles.

So what does this mean? Although MRIs and X-rays are very effective in ruling out red flags (cancer, infections, fractures, infection, etc.), they are not the most effective in helping you understand or treat the pain that you are feeling in your low back. The good news is that you don’t have to let your MRI dictate what you can and cannot do.

The best people to help you return to function are specialists like physical therapists, chiropractors, and strength coaches. The combination of all three professions will allow to maximize range of motion, stability, and overall function.

Over the next few days we will share with you the best ways to work around low back pain and how to return back to your normal activity after getting injured. It is very important that you do have medical clearance from your physician (if you’re under the care of one). This week we will be focusing primarily on generalized back pain. If you do have symptoms radiating down your legs, numbness, or unexplained weakness as a result of your back pain, immediately seek out the evaluation from an orthopedist to rule out any red flags.

If you have any other areas of the body that you would like to learn more about over the next couple weeks, reply to this email.

Have a great day,


*The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in the information provided nor will the owner be liable for any accidents, injuries or other damage, howsoever occurring to any person or property arising out of or in any way connected to the use or application of information obtained from this message


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