One of the great things to come out of the advancement of modern medicine is the accuracy and detail of modern imaging. We’re now able to scan the brain, spinal cord, bones and joints to get more detail than ever before. If you come in and we suspect that you might have a fracture after we’ve taken your case history the first thing we’ll suggest is that you go to A&E to get a scan to confirm our diagnosis, or you may also get sent to have an MRI if you have certain Rheumatological conditions so they can see the extent of the pathology.
Our Approach to Care
There is a downside to modern imaging though, and that is that they show us everything, and to make things more complicated the result of your scan may not be the actual cause of your pain. This might sound odd, especially when it’s clear that someone has degeneration of a joint you can see that two bones are starting to rub against one another. However as we’ve learnt more about pain, we’ve come to understand that tissue damage doesn’t necessarily equate to your pain levels. Some recent studies looked into scanning people who are asymptomatic, and showed 37% of 20 year olds and 96% of 80 year olds had degeneration and 87% of 20-70 year olds had some form of disc bulging.
So what does this mean for you? Should you get a scan for your injury? The answer is it depends, and it’s best to seek out a medical professional for their opinion. Osteopaths, physiotherapists, chiropractors are all trained to take detailed case histories and make informed decisions on whether or not treatment is the best course of action, or whether in fact a referral is more appropriate.