Video FAQ: Should I Get an MRI For Low Back Pain?

 

We've written a blog post about this in the past, but one of the most commonly asked questions we hear is, "If I have chronic low back pain, should I get an MRI?"

Watch the video or check out the blog post to hear our answer and learn what you can do to start to get to the root cause of your back pain.

Have any further questions? Send us an email at info@advancedbalance.org and we would be more than happy to help!

 

Choose how you age. Choose how you 2019. Join our January Movement Challenge to kick off your new year!

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Quick Test: What Does Actual Shoulder Mobility Look Like?

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and indoor

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and indoor

A key component in maintaining strong, healthy shoulder joints is understanding how to differentiate between using actual shoulder mobility v. other joints to compensate for a lack of shoulder mobility.

As the above photos demonstrate, more than one joint can be used to reach arms overhead. Many of us mistakenly believe we are strictly using shoulder mobility to accomplish this motion. The first photo shows someone reaching arms overhead to touch the wall behind them. At a glance this might look like fantastic shoulder mobility, but take a closer look at what is happening at the rib cage. It moved away from the wall to help move the arms further overhead. Once the end of actual shoulder mobility is reached, rib cage thrusting can help us achieve further movement without using the shoulders but using the low back instead. 

Is this a problem? Not always. But if you are looking to improve actual shoulder joint mobility, compensating with rib cage thrusting bypasses the...

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All Walking is Not Created Equal

When it comes to walking, most of us have a strong preference between walking outdoors, indoors, or on a treadmill. We tend to think these activities are interchangeable from a health perspective, but are they? The surfaces that we walk on change the experience of our body and the muscles that we use.

Walking overground should be powered by the backs of our legs with our torso vertical. In order to propel us forward, our muscles generate a pushing action behind us to push the ground away. On the other hand, a treadmill forces our body to do exactly the opposite, relying on a walking pattern driven by the muscles in the front of the hip and thigh to catch yourself because the “ground” is coming toward you. Therefore, treadmill walking is not the same as walking overground.

So Why Does This Matter?

For most of us, the muscles of the fronts of our hips are already shortened due to time spent sitting every day. Treadmill use encourages further shortening and overuse of...

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A Brief Overview of Chronic Pain

As the chronic pain epidemic continues to pour over into the opioid epidemic, new research continues to break down the complexity of chronic pain. Just a few years ago, chronic pain was viewed completely from a biomechanical perspective. When the medical community realized that treating only the injury was not only not working, but the epidemic of chronic pain continued to worsen they realized they needed to take a step back and look at the whole person. What has been discovered has been an eye-opening look at how chronic pain involves factors beyond what is happening within the body tissue. Now, we take a broader look at the whole person and understand chronic pain has a multitude of origins.

The Actual Risk Factors for Chronic Pain

Over time, physicians and other professionals realized the amount of tissue damage being seen on an MRI and the amount of pain a person was experiencing just were not matching up. Beyond that, those who underwent surgical procedures were showing...

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When Body Alignment Does Matter: A Discussion of Chronic Pain and Function

Chronic pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States, with an annual cost estimated to be about $100 billion. These costs are associated with healthcare expenses, lost income, and lost productivity. A majority of adults experience acute pain at least once in their lives with about 28% later developing chronic pain (3).

With the nation’s growing opioid epidemic, there has been considerable emphasis on understanding the sources of chronic pain. Many mistakenly believe that tissue damage is directly correlated with a person’s risk of developing chronic pain. Statements from medical professionals to their patients which include “Your MRI shows that you have the spine of an 80 year old and you can expect to be in pain for the rest of your life” or “just avoid stairs or squatting entirely if it your knees are hurting” just further exacerbate the myths surrounding chronic pain.

There is much confusion regarding body alignment, movement,...

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Your Worst Health Habit Is Likely... Your Shoes

One of the most detrimental health habits humans tend to have is something most of us probably never give much thought to, at least in terms of health impact.

It's your shoes. 

For every 1 degree of heel your shoe has, 1 degree of spine, hip, and knee joint reaction is required to compensate…. meaning for every 1 inch of heel your shoe has, it causes 20 degrees of change throughout the joints of the legs and spine!

Think even a modest heel is not a detriment to your health? Think again.

Your footwear choices have a major negative impact on your joint, bone, and muscle health. The amount of joint reaction caused by wearing heels can be contributing to knee and hip osteoarthritis, lumbar disc compression, and even pelvic floor dysfunction (new moms... please avoid heels!). Improper footwear choices are also a common culprit of falls in older adults.

So, believe it or not... one of the biggest impact steps you can take toward improving your health is...

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Should I Get an MRI for Low Back Pain?

 

Have you considered getting an MRI as the missing piece of the puzzle in finally living a life without back pain?

Unfortunately, this is the sentiment we hear far too often from our clients living with chronic low back pain. The longer the pain continues, the more strongly you might consider an MRI as the best option. 

Imaging is recommended so often for a variety of medical conditions that we've become conditioned to believe imaging findings will finally give us an idea of what is going on and what we should do about it.

But, what if we told you all of this imaging has the potential to cause more harm than good?

Don't get us wrong, there is most definitely a time and a place where imaging is critical, but for general chronic low back pain research found starting with an MRI is often more harmful than it is helpful.

Surprised? So were the researchers who were discovering the potential harm in our healthcare system's practice of ordering imaging for every...

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What You Need to Know About Your Back Pain

Are you one of the millions of people living with chronic back pain?

Have you been told by a medical provider your pain is due to arthritis? That you have the spine of an 80 year old? Or there is nothing that can be done about your back pain?

If so, you aren't alone. And unfortunately, what is often left out of this discussion is the fact that aging of the spine is perfectly NORMAL. Yes, it's not even abnormal to start to see signs of arthritis on imaging as young as age 30! Arthritic changes within your joints does not automatically lead to chronic pain and limited quality of life. 

So, what gives and where is your back pain really coming from?

Why You Are Really More Likely to Experience Back Pain With Age

Age causes an increase low back pain for a variety of other reasons. About one in three older adults will experience low back pain. As we stated above, there are normal and expected changes in the spine that come with age include changes in posture, decrease...

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