MRIs - The Positives and the False Positives

Tests – what are they good for?

When it comes to back pain tests, of MRIs that question must be questioned. What are MRIs good for when the percentage of helpful, influential MRI studies is so small? False positive MRI results trouble those who receive these results. They arouse fear or caution where it is not always warranted. MRIs like this blur the proper treatment plan. They spend a lot of money. Lakeshore Chiropractic carefully weighs the necessity of MRI in the Two Rivers chiropractic treatment plan of Two Rivers back pain relief.

MEDICINE’S VIEW

MRI interpretations by radiologists often differ.  The true-positive finding rate was 56.4%, and the miss-rate was 43.6%. (1) MRI imaging may trigger misleading suspicion. When following the guidelines of the American College of Radiology, 93% of lumbar spine MRIs were proper. Of those, only 13% revealed anything suspicious. Of the 36 MRIs that caused suspicion of cancer or infection, 81% were false-positive. 59% of the follow-up MRIs on those suspicious findings were false positives. (2) MRI imaging may misinform. For example, MRI shows that the presence of disc degeneration in asymptomatic persons – persons with no back pain – grows with age:  37% in 20 year olds and 96% in 80 year olds; disc bulges: 30% to 84%; disc protrusion: 29% to 43%; annular fissures 19% to 29%. These imaging findings suggest that these are signs of normal aging. They remind all doctors, remind chiropractors like yours at Lakeshore Chiropractic, to correlate all such findings to patient symptoms. (1,3) Your Two Rivers chiropractor does this!

CHIROPRACTIC’S VIEW

Choosing Wisely guidelines for American chiropractors suggest30 not repeating spinal imaging and not getting spinal imaging for patients with acute low back pain in the first 6 weeks of back pain (except when “red flags” are present– issues that indicate something more disturbing). (4) A review of the effectiveness of the Canadian Choosing Wisely recommendations for imaging nonspecific spinal pain and symptoms reported that there is very low risk of missing a worrying cause of back pain. (5) The purpose of guidelines is less imaging, fewer false positives.  Lakeshore Chiropractic wants what’s best for our Two Rivers chiropractic care patients.

COX® TECHNIC’S VIEW

Chiropractors like yours at Lakeshore Chiropractic study all the symptoms, tests and images our Two Rivers chiropractic back pain patients [[present on|bring with them39] their first Two Rivers chiropractic visit. So many back pain patients present to Lakeshore Chiropractic with MRI images already done. Lakeshore Chiropractic will study them but will depend more on clinical exam findings and link them to what the MRI reveals. A rule of thumb with the Cox Technic System of Back Pain Relief is to seek 50% decrease of back pain in the first 30 days of care before ordering more imaging or testing or referring for surgical consultation. (6)

CONTACT Lakeshore Chiropractic

Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. Dan Clark on the Back Doctor’s Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he explains the role of imaging for back pain in the program of treatment for pain relief.

Schedule your Two Rivers chiropractic appointment with Lakeshore Chiropractic today. Let us discover together the best path to Two Rivers back pain relief – with or without MRI imaging!

 
Lakeshore Chiropractic carefully chooses when and if MRI images are needed to guide the Two Rivers chiropractic treatment plan.  
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