The MRI is an amazing piece of technology. To be able to get so much information without exposing the body to radiation or cutting into the body is truly amazing. The MRI is the gold standard for imaging, but when it comes to common aches and pains it is likely not going to give us very much useful information. There are a number of studies that show that MRI findings do not correlate well with pain.
The traditional narrative is that as the body ages your body will develop degenerative findings. A paper from about 10 years ago likened these degenerative findings to “wrinkles on the inside” you wouldn’t look at a 65 year olds face and tell them they have degenerative face disease, so why do we use this language with joints?
The narrative that I have developed to help me understand this (which is not backed my traditional research) is that how you move and how you take care of yourself combined with your genetic makeup is going to dictate tissue quality (wear and tear). We see this with skin wrinkles as well, if you take very poor care of yourself you will develop wrinkles faster. Also if you have poor posture and biomechanics you will develop skin wrinkles faster and this can be corrected, I do it nearly every day. So if you take care of yourself and understand posture, breathing and stress, you will not create so many wrinkles on the outside and if you learn how to move well you do not create so many “wrinkles” on the inside by managing compressive forces being placed on joints. If you are worried about about your joint health or click here to schedule a phone call with the doc.
James is dedicated to helping the Portland area decrease pain and improve performance. He believes education is an important factor in solving your problems.