What Can MRI Reveal About the Back Pain ?

Dr. Ramesh Sahjpaul, MD, MSc, FRCSC, Neurosurgeon, discusses what an MRI can reveal about the back.

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Dr. Ramesh Sahjpaul, MD, MSc, FRCSC, Neurosurgeon, discusses what an MRI can reveal about the back.
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Featuring Dr. Ramesh Sahjpaul, MD, MSc, FRCSC, Neurosurgeon

What Can MRI Reveal About the Back Pain ?
Duration: 1 minute, 11 seconds

Well, probably one of the most important things to recognize is that there is a normal aging of the spine.  

So over the years normal aging processes do take place in the discs and the joints in the spine and the tissues around the bones. And what that results in is what we call a degenerative cascade, and those changes are visible on an MRI scan.  

Well, MRI reports can sometimes be quite alarming, and that’s because they’re reflective of the normal wear and tear processes that occur in the spine with aging. And essentially everybody gets these changes on their MRI scan, and it’s important for patients to realize that they don’t need to be alarmed if their MRI report shows degenerative discs, bulging discs, bone spurs, and some degree of spinal stenosis.  

However, if the patient is experiencing symptoms such as nerve pain, numbness, tingling, weakness in the legs, and the MRI scan shows changes that correlate with those symptoms, then certainly in that situation surgery can be very helpful.  

Presenter: Dr. Ramesh Sahjpaul, Neurosurgeon, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Neurosurgeon

97-100 People got two or more of these video questions wrong... ( 15 participated.)

Quiz: Do You Understand Back Pain?

Questions
 
True
False
1

Lumbar back pain is the most common type of back pain.

Explanation:

Back pain symptoms can be mild or severe, and cervical (neck pain), thoracic (middle back pain), lumbar (lower back pain) or tailbone/sacral (coccydynia). Lumbar back pain is the most common type.

2

Back pain isn't caused by medical problems involving the gallbladder or kidneys.

Explanation:

Back pain can come from muscles, bones, joints or nerves. It can also be caused by medical problems involving the gallbladder, aorta, kidneys or pancreas.

3

Scoliosis is a back condition but it doesn't cause back pain.

Explanation:

Back pain causes include injury or activity, arthritis, back strain, sciatica, poor posture, aging and scoliosis.

4

Back pain symptoms include pain that radiates down your leg.

Explanation:

Back pain symptoms include shooting or stabbing pain, pain that radiates down the leg, muscle aches, pain that worsens when you walk, lift something, bend or stand, and pain that improves when you recline.

5

Most patients with back pain will require surgery.

Explanation:

In most cases, back pain will resolve on its own with treatment at home and over-the-counter medications. Some patients benefit from spinal traction, a physiotherapy technique that applies a longitudinal stretch to the reachable joints and soft tissues that is commonly used on the cervical, lumbar spine and thoracic spine. Surgery is not usually recommended.

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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