Questioning MRI Disc Images

“Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.” ~ Street Wisdom

Back pain is often harder to diagnose than you might think.

For example, a medical doctor may order an MRI. The the main goal of the MRI is to find if there are disc problems. And the most common disc problem is herniation.

So far, so good, right?

But problems appear when the doctor automatically assumes the back pain is caused by the disc problem. This assumption is often wrong. Between 58% and 76% of MRIs show herniation without any symptoms. In other words, many people have disc herniation but no pain. That means that pain is not an indicator for a herniated disc.

Part of the problem is the complexity of your back. Discs, muscles, ligaments and tendons are all part of the support system that keeps your spine healthy. A problem with any one of them can cause pain. A large herniated disc can be completely painless. By contrast, a muscle spasm from a simple back strain may cause severe pain.

This knowledge should be part of your doctor’s diagnosis. In 2013 a cross-section double blind study showed MRI findings must be secondary to other factors. These include history and clinical examination.1

In some cases, a bulging disc has to be operated on. But not in every case. Here are some things you might do before you submit to surgery:

  1. Make sure you are hydrated. This means getting enough water. It starts with drinking enough water. But you also need to make sure it gets into your cells. Your salt intake helps determine this. I recommend Celtic sea salt, especially if you are a protein Metabolic Type®.
  2. Reduce inflammation. Stop eating inflammatory foods. These are mostly processed foods. Especially stop sugar and white flour. Also consider testing for food sensitivities. These can cause widespread inflammation.
  3. Do corrective exercise. You will need to find a skilled physical therapist to do this.

In addition, consider the following:

  • Discs have been known to regenerate from taking Calcium Orotate. Click here for summary article of its many valuable properties.
  • Acupuncture supports the body restoring healthy function. It is often very helpful for back pain from any cause.

All the best to you for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

  1. “Clinical correlation of magnetic resonance imaging with symptom complex in prolapsed intervertebral disc disease: A cross-sectional double blind analysis”, J Craniovertebr Junction Spine, 2013 Jan-Jun, 4(1); 16-20.

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