& Rehabilitation Services
715 Lake Street, Suite 600
Oak Park, Illinois 60301
X-rays and MRIs of the Spine
It is prudent for a patient to consider why he or she is getting an MRI.
Most MRI findings have nothing to do with why the person has pain and is thus the reason for most ‘failed surgery syndromes.’ Surgery for pain in the best case scenario should be done only after all of the conservative treatments have been tried and failed. This includes Prolotherapy!
Most folks who come to Caring Medical with low back pain, thoracic or neck pain have MRI’s that show disc degeneration but seldom is that what is causing their pain. Here are some signs/symptoms that allow you to know that your pain is not coming from the disc problem (none of these is absolute but give a good idea):
• Pain on either side of the spine not on the midline
• Sensation is intact
• Muscle strength is fine
• Pain upon lying down
• Pain is not worse with sitting
• Pain is not worse with bending over
• Numbiness (tingling down the arm but sensation is ok)
All of the above symptoms suggest ligament laxity of spine or sacroiliac ligament problems. Disc problems are more indicative if the person has low back pain for instance that is:
• Sitting makes it worse
• Standing (compared to lying) makes it worse
• Bending over while standing increases the central pain.
Realize the only way to truly get out of pain is to stop the process that is causing the body injury. This process for those in chronic pain is typically either ligament laxity or what I and my wife Marion call "connective tissue deficiency". The latter involves the breakdown of collagen in the body. This often occurs because the body is in a catabolic state because anabolic hormones are low. Correction of this through natural hormone replacement, diet, and supplements can relieve some of the pain, but typically Prolotherapy also has to get done.
Prolotherapy toward the supraspinatous, interspinus and lumbosacral ligaments is what the person with chronic low back needs, regardless if disc degeneration shows up on the MRI. For such a person “yes after Prolotherapy it is possible for the MRI to look the same, but I suspect your back pain won’t be. You’ll have a hard time finding it!”