The problem with MRIs for low back pain

Studies have suggested for years that routine imaging for low back pain is a waste of time and money – not to mention it can harm the patient. Unfortunately, according to new research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, MRI and other high-tech scans for LBP increased by 50 percent between 1995 and 2015. So why does it persist?

Though there are many reasons, the medical industry being slow to change is a main cause along with the high occurrence of LBP in the U.S. Luckily, “ninety percent of patients with low back pain will respond to things like medication and goal-directed physical therapy, and they do not need imaging at all,” says F. Todd Wetzel, the chief of orthopedics at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York. Learn more about the state of high-tech imaging and what PT can do to help in this article.

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