Kesson Physio

To MRI or Not to MRI?

February 19, 2024


Myth 1: MRI’s don’t always tell you why you have back pain.

What most scans tend to show are normal structural changes to your body, that were probably there before you started experiencing pain. 

Indeed you will often be faced with either a ‘clear’ MRI but you have lots of pain or MRIs that look terrible but people feel no pain whatsoever.  Basically MRIs don’t show pain.

What MRIs can show are changes in your body’s structure which might – or might not – match your sense of pain.

What is more, MRIs can in fact lengthen the symptoms for many people! Studies show that symptoms can last 13-120 days longer for those who had a scan compared to those who didn’t.

In our view, MRIs for low back pain should only be used when very rare, serious causes of back pain are suspected.

Our assessment approach means we identify quickly if you need an MRI and we then refer you straight away. If you don’t require a scan, we’ll work with you to understand why you’re experiencing pain and then how to ease, manage and limit its effect on you and your body. 

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