Do I Need MRI Scans For Back Pain Relief ?


Americans spend more money on their healthcare than those in most other modern countries. A large amount of Americans suffer from back pain, which results from their day-to-day life. Another common medical condition that many people suffer from is Type 2 Diabetes. For both these conditions, traditional treatments have proved to be effective and affordable. Patients with back pain will go for scans, such as an MRI, CT scan, or X-rays, even where no fracture of the spine is involved.
Conducting these tests is often a waste of money because these images do not shed any light on the source or cause of the back pain. Instead, simple exercises and physiotherapy can be helpful for most mild forms of back pain, which can be undertaken without any complications. In the same way that an inexpensive pill can lower blood pressure for a patient suffering from high blood pressure, why should they take a beta-blocker that will cost him more? The same applies for back pain; why do I need MRI scans for back pain relief if exercise or physiotherapy can be effective? The answer might lie in research that has found that most Americans tend to like the latest treatments for their illness!


Do I Need MRI Scans For Back Pain Relief ?


An MRI scan is generally considered to be the single best imaging study of the spine to help plan treatment for back pain.

The latest, fanciest treatments are not necessarily the best, and doctors and consumer advocates teamed up this week to drive the point home.


The American College of Physicians, which represents primary-care doctors, and Consumer Reports formed a new partnership to publicize the benefits, harms, and costs of various tests, drugs and other treatments. The new partnership could help do a lot of the hard work for the Obama administration, which is trying to find ways to cut ballooning health care costs amid accusations of rationing care coming from Republicans.


The groups started out with two simple areas that affect tens of millions of Americans — Type 2 diabetes and lower-back pain. In each case, newer, high-tech approaches are not necessarily the best.


And if your back hurts, you might not need  a CT scan or an MRI. “Imaging tests for lower-back pain are often a waste of money. An X-ray of the lower back ranges from about $200 to $290, an MRI from $880 to $1,230, and a CT scan from $1,080 to $1,520. Out of network, those costs can double,” the groups say.


ACP has found that an MRI can show up a bulging disc in the spine that wasn’t even bothering a patient.


Neither piece of advice is new — studies have backed up these and other recommendations. For instance, the first line of treatment for high blood pressure shouldn’t be a pricey beta-blocker, but a humble diuretic, a pill that costs less than a dollar a dose and lowers blood pressure by removing excess fluid via the urine. The National Institutes of Health publicized this finding back in 2002.


But Americans tend to like the newest and priciest treatments, according to a study published last month paid for by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.


And the International Federation of Health Plans found in February that Americans pay more for surgery, doctors, drugs, and diagnostic imaging than people living in Spain, France, Germany, Argentina, Chile, Canada, India, and Switzerland.


“We are jointly committed to putting the brakes on over-testing and over-treatment, and we agree that consumers will benefit when either patients or doctors initiate conversations about these delicate issues,” said John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center.


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Do I need MRI scans for back pain relief is a question that needs to be thought about. For most people the answer is probably that an MRI is not required. Depending on the seriousness of the condition, a doctor may be the best person to recommend that the patient should undergo an imaging test. However, such tests do not do much for the diagnosis, and they are often not of much help in curing the pain. So, what the doctor and the patient should look for is not how expensive the treatment is going to be, or how modern the treatment is, but how effective the treatment is going to be in the diagnosis or prognosis of back pain problems.


Dr. Jack Adrian of Chirocenter Chiropractic discusses the anatomy of the lumbar spine and the ramifications of referred back pain caused by bulged, protruded, herniated, ruptured and degenerated or decayed disc through an MRI Review.





This video looks at an MRI image of an L4/5 disc herniation caused by Lumbo-Sacral Syndrome.




For more information on back pain relief – grab yourself a copy of The 7 Day Back Pain Cure. It is available on our website by clicking the access button quickly and easily below.



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