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Routine Xray for low back and neck pain is a bad idea

This is the best video I’ve ever seen on why ‘routine imaging’ is a bad idea.  Xrays are not a great idea for routine back or neck pain.

Nearly every study done on back and neck pain imaging shows us that what is found in an Xray and MRI has no relationship to the pain people feel.

They show that 98% of people have arthritis in their neck – and most have no pain.

They show that up to a third of people under 30 — with no pain — have disc prolapses.

Incidental findings are often a reason we don’t do routine imaging – it’s not helpful. In fact, it can be harmful.

If you tell people who aren’t in pain about these ‘incidental’ findings, they may start to develop abnormal movement patterns, fear avoidant behaviours and ultimately – pain.

And if you tell people with pain the details of what was found in their XRay or MRI, they tend to do worse.  They are more likely to develop ongoing pain than if you focus on their functional daily needs during treatment.

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