Are MRI’S Reliable?
Great study that shows Spinal degeneration and abnormalities are common in healthy individuals who are not experiencing any pain or discomfort (Asymptomatic) who has taken (CT Scan or MRI). In the study by W. Brinjikji, etl, (2014). they have done a Systematic Literature Review of Imaging Features of Spinal Degeneration in Asymptomatic Populations.
They performed a systematic review of articles reporting the prevalence of imaging ﬁndings (CT or MR imaging) in symptomatic individuals from published English literature through April 2014. They have selected age groupings by decade (20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80years), determining age-speciﬁc prevalence estimates.
Their results showed: Thirty-three articles reporting imaging ﬁndings for 3110 asymptomatic individuals met our study inclusion criteria. The prevalence of disk degeneration in asymptomatic individuals increased from 37% of 20-year-old individuals to 96% of 80-year-old individuals. Disk bulge prevalence increased from 30% of those 20 years of age to 84% of those 80 years of age. Disk protrusion prevalence increased from 29% of those 20 years of age to 43% of those 80 years of age. The prevalence of annular ﬁssure increased from 19% of those 20y ears of age to 29% of those 80 years of age.
They have concluded: Imaging ﬁndings of spine degeneration are present in high proportions of asymptomatic individuals, increasing with age. Many imaging-based degenerative features are likely part of normal aging and unassociated with pain. These imaging ﬁndings must be interpreted in the context of the patient’s clinical condition. I always reinforce to my patients that if they are (experiencing back pain or any discomfort) why? because they can start to believe this is not going to be a permanent pain and with the right rehabilitation program, modified activity, and education they will be pain-free and getting back to their daily lifestyle even stronger !!
Feel free to share this with someone who is worry about their back pain / MRI scan.
Dr. Bahram Jam, D.SC.PT, M.PHTY, B.SC.PT, FCAMT, a physical therapist, founder and director of Advanced Physical Therapy Education Institute, and author of The Pain Truth…and Nothing But!
Dublin Sports Injury Clinic is a Physical Therapy Clinic based in Pearse Street, Dublin 2. We have a holistic approach to our assessment and treatment. The initial assessment helps us to explore the cause of your injury and help you to get pain free shortly and stop any further injuries. We will design a customized training program for you to start with, and we coach you and monitor your progress closely. We will prescribe relative rest or modified activities as required. In addition, patient’s education helps to reduce frustration and encourages compliance.
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Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. You can contact us if you would like to book an appointment or get some advice from our therapist.
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