If you’ve ever dealt with low back pain that has lasted for weeks or months, or made it feel like squatting or deadlifting again would be impossible, you may have thought to yourself “do I need to get an MRI for my back pain?”
This is a very normal question to ask yourself, and it’s a common question that our patients with low back pain ask us all the time.
And while there is no one-size-fits-all answer, the most common answer might surprise you….because it’s no!
In most cases, you don’t need an MRI to help you figure out what’s going on with your back pain, and more importantly, to get you on the path to solving your back pain.
This study actually showed that getting an early MRI (one within the first 4 to 6 weeks of experiencing the onset of low back pain) resulted in worse outcomes!
The reasons why this is the case can be very complex, but ultimately boil down to the fact that not everything that may initially seem “abnormal” on an MRI is causing/contributing to low back pain, and the image itself doesn’t give us the full picture of what you’re dealing with.
Basically, two people can have very similar looking MRIs of their low back, but have VASTLY different levels of pain, function, and pain triggers.
This is where a skilled physical examination comes into play.
An actual physical exam of your low back, as well as other areas such as your hips and thoracic spine, can give us a much more clear picture of what specifically you are dealing with, and how to best help you solve your back pain.
We’ve helped hundreds of people solve their back pain and get back to the activities they love, and if you are interested in seeing if we can help, click here to talk with one of our experts to see if we can help you out.