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Examining the Associations Between Lumbar MRI Findings and Low Back Pain

MRI. Study

A recent population-based cohort study examined the association between common lumbar degenerative changes observed on MRI and current or future low back pain. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that these MRI findings do not have clinically important associations with low back pain. In fact, almost all effects were less than one unit on a 0 to 10 pain scale.

What Are Lumbar Degenerative Changes?

Degenerative changes in the lumbar spine are common as we age. These changes can include disc degeneration, disc bulging, and bone spurs. While these changes can be seen on MRI, they do not always cause symptoms. In fact, research has shown that many people without any back pain also have these degenerative changes.

The Myth of MRI

Many people believe that an MRI is the key to understanding their back pain. However, this study and others have shown that MRI findings do not always correlate with the presence or severity of back pain. In fact, relying solely on MRI findings can lead to unnecessary treatments and procedures.

The Importance of a Holistic Approach

As a chiropractor, I believe in taking a holistic approach to treating back pain. This means looking at the whole person and addressing any underlying issues that may be contributing to their pain. It also means using natural, non-invasive techniques to help alleviate pain and improve overall spinal health.

Preventing Low Back Pain

While some degenerative changes in the spine are a natural part of aging, there are steps you can take to prevent or delay their onset. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and proper posture can all help keep your spine healthy and reduce your risk of developing low back pain.

Managing Low Back Pain

If you are currently experiencing low back pain, there are natural ways to manage it without relying on MRI findings. Chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, and physical therapy are all effective in reducing pain and improving function. These treatments can also address any underlying issues, such as muscle imbalances or joint dysfunction, that may be contributing to your pain.

Take Control of Your Back Pain

As this study has shown, MRI findings do not always correlate with low back pain. Instead of relying on imaging, it is important to take a holistic approach to managing and preventing back pain. As a chiropractor, I am here to help you take control of your back pain and improve your overall spinal health.

If you are experiencing low back pain, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with me. Together, we can develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and helps you live a pain-free life. Remember, your spine is the backbone of your body, so taking care of it should be a top priority.

This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for medical care or to prescribe treatment for any specific health condition. 

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