Should we treat MRI scans and x-rays?

Our general answer is NO. In other words, we treat pain, and not suboptimal appearances on imaging studies. But on further reflection, and if a doctor is so inclined as to spend a little more thought and time with you, there are some more intelligent ways to respond than “No”. But it depends upon the specific spine and patient. In fact, I think sometimes providing advice for the long term, based upon imaging studies is the only rational choice to make. Let me clarify.

Most of us are going to wear out our spines in different ways over our lifetime. I happen to think this is more nutritional than traumatic in causation, but that’s a whole other topic. One of the destructive things that can happen to our spines is a progressive degenerative scoliosis. I’ve written about this before in a post about scoliosis. Usually, these patients can be treated effectively for their pain and be released from treatment. But in these cases it would be constructive to advise them what exercise to do, and how to sleep in order to partially reverse their scoliosis and raise their pain threshold.

If you read my other post, you’ll see that it is possible to partially reverse the scoliosis by strengthening the muscles on the convex side. But I have my own spin as well, which involves sleep postures at night, while on your back and on your side. These are simple self-treatments that are advisable exceptions to the valid “No”, which is usuallly meant to dissuade providers from providing speculative treatment, at a charge, to patients for speculative benefit.

Should we treat MRI scans and x-rays?

I should say that I don’t make self-treatment recommendations all the time, such as when a person’s spine looks reasonably normal. But I treat myself with some simple habitual behaviors to partially reverse my degenerative scoliosis, and I make the same recoommendations to certain patients I think will benefit.

On a related point, I think it is unfortunate that doctors now don’t have or make the time to improve patients’ lives in ways their special knowledge permits. So this theme is related to my above point. When I broach a topic like mitigation of degeneration, it is not immediately relevant to the patient’s present problem. But teaching them to think long term about their spinal health cultivates the mindset patients should have about their spine, health and life.
shoulder pain therapy decatur