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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 proportion of constructive, influential MRI studies is so minor? False positive MRI results upset those who receive such results. They arouse fear or caution where it’s not always warranted. MRIs like this confuse the proper treatment plan. They cost quite a bit. Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C. carefully evaluates the necessity of MRI in the Auburn chiropractic treatment plan of Auburn back pain relief.

MEDICINE’S VIEW

MRI interpretations by radiologists often vary.  The true-positive finding rate was 56.4%, and the miss-rate was 43.6%. (1) MRI imaging may cause 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 that needed to be addressed. 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 appearance of disc degeneration in asymptomatic persons – persons with no back pain – rises 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 Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C., to compare all such findings to patient symptoms. (1,3) Your Auburn 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 (unless there are “red flags” – issues that indicate something more worrisome). (4) A review of the efficacy 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.  Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C. wants what’s best for our Auburn chiropractic care patients.

COX® TECHNIC’S VIEW

Chiropractors like yours at Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C. study all the symptoms, tests and images our Auburn chiropractic back pain patients [[present on|bring with them39] their first Auburn chiropractic visit. So many back pain patients come to Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C. with MRI images already with them. Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C. will study them but will depend more on clinical exam findings and correlate them to what the MRI reveals. A rule of thumb with the Cox Technic System of Back Pain Relief is to work toward 50% reduction of back pain in the first 30 days of care before arranging additional imaging or testing or arranging surgical consultation. (6)

CONTACT Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C.

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 Auburn chiropractic appointment with Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C. today. Let us discover together the best path to Auburn back pain relief – with or without MRI imaging!

 
Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C. carefully chooses when and if MRI images are needed to guide the Auburn chiropractic treatment plan.  
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