CORRELATING Physical Symptoms and MRI Findings

Sep 27, 2012
Posted by Larry Burk | 2 comments

In the September 2012 Let Magic Happen newsletter I describe numerous studies showing an unexpectedly high incidence of abnormalities of the spine, knee and shoulder on MRI scans in asymptomatic volunteers. The relationship between MRI findings and physical symptoms can be described in terms of four general categories. It is important to determine which one of these four categories you fall into before making treatment decisions based on MRI scans and clinical symptoms.
An explanation is provided below with an accompanying 8 minute video.

The four categories have significantly different treatment recommendations as follows:

1. Asymptomatic musculoskeletal lesions discovered as incidental findings on MRI scans done for other purposes -  no treatment is required and if symptoms do eventually develop the possibility that the cause is due to a related psychospiritual emotional issue should be considered.

2. Symptoms with no musculoskeletal MRI findings - alternative therapies should be the first line of treatment since drugs are unlikely to be of benefit in the absence of inflammation and may result in side effects.

3. Symptoms of inflammation that may have corresponding MRI findings - surgery is usually not required except in infected abscesses, and drugs may suppress the effects of inflammation, but do not address the root causes which are better approached with alternative therapies.

4. Symptoms due to mechanical causes correlated directly with MRI findings - surgery may be the only option, although alternative therapies may help to address associated inflammation and psychospiritual emotional issues preoperatively that will lead to a better surgical outcome.