In some situations, yes. And if so, we can write a letter to your doctor to speed up the process. However most of the time, you don’t need an MRI or an X-Ray. These scans are used mostly when your back pain or neck pain is potentially dangerous and will cause you long term harm. When we see you, we can decide as to whether you need further investigation or not. If you do, we will send you for further investigations via your GP.
But one thing we certainly do not do is X-Ray every patient who comes in to see us. And there’s an important reason for this. X-Rays and MRIs don’t show you what you feel. In fact, expertly delivered research is showing us that X-Rays (often used by chiropractors) and MRIs can actually do a lot of harm for patients (learn about how MRI and X-Rays are often unhelpful here).
This is because the more frightened a patient is of their pain, the more intense their pain can be. A scare tactic often used by chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists is to show you an image of your X-Ray and tell you that your spine is damaged. This creates fear and dependency on their services.
This is rubbish. If you have wear and tear, it has most likely been there for years. Besides, your joints and spine are meant to wear a little. Just like brake pads on your car. Cartilage and bone dissipate force. And they often do this by wearing a little (cartilage) or growing to absorb more force (bony changes seen in arthritis). Sometimes our joints can even change position (alignment) to better dissipate force. It’s normal.
The best way to avoid excessive wear and tear? It’s not treatment. It’s good sleep, a good diet and good healthy movement. This is why we take a multi-faceted approach to your health. You will receive hands on treatment as well as lifestyle advice for your pain.