Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) plays an important role in detecting several health problems. However, a growing trend in many medical clinics is to conduct an MRI scan on patients with back pain, even when serious conditions are not suspected, and before trying conservative, non-surgical management. Dr. Bagley at Vital Force Clinic is concerned about this trend and wants all individuals with back pain to be fully informed about this situation.

Researchers speculate that this problem with the widespread use of MRI for back pain diagnosis is that the scans, which visualize soft tissue like the spinal discs and muscles, frequently identify anomalies that are not necessarily the cause of a person’s back trouble. The result? A skyrocketing rate of unnecessary surgeries.

For instance, many cases of disc herniation do not cause pain. A person may indeed have back pain, and have a herniated disc, but the two are often unrelated. In these cases surgery can do far more harm than good.

One study pointed out that “evidence suggests that MRIs may often be ordered unnecessarily. … More studies are needed to examine the appropriateness with which imaging procedures and non-invasive/minimally invasive treatments are utilized, and their effect on patient outcomes.” (Pain Med 2006;7:143-50.)

Unless you are in an emergency situation, schedule an appointment with our office before considering spinal surgery.

Need a St. Louis Chiropractor? Contact Dr. Bagley at 314-596-4070.