XRays, MRIs and Pain. Is there a connection?

I talked to a patient this week who recently injured himself. He asked me about getting an MRI.

I told him the same thing I was told in my first radiology class. There is no connection between symptoms and findings on XRay, on CT, on MRI.

Plenty of people have significant degeneration, disc herniations or bone spurs and they have no pain. Other people’s spines look perfect and they have pain, numbness and tingling.

It’s really tempting to point to an imperfection in your spine and pronounce that as the cause of your suffering. But the same thing is true of your spine that is true of your life—just because it looks good, doesn’t mean it is easy and free of suffering. And just because everything is where it “should” be, doesn’t mean things are as painless as they look.

The good news is that this means your pain can go away even if the spinal degeneration cannot. You can heal from the pain. You do not have to make your spine look perfect before it will feel good.

Know someone who is struggling with spine pain? Have them call the office to schedule a new patient appointment!

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