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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
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Diagnostic Testing After A Back Injury: Does It Help?

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Often, we will have cases where the defense will ask if X- Rays or MRI’s were done, the implication being that if they weren’t that the injury wasn’t a big deal. If they were done, the next question will be if they found anything, the implication again being that the injury was no big deal.

The reality is that unless there is a fracture or a herniated disc the testing isn’t going to show anything and really isn’t meant to. These tests may be OK at ruling things out, but recent studies indicate that they may not be necessary. Now it should be considered that when saying after the fact say that the test shouldn’t have been done, seems to ignore the cases when something is found. But suggested guidlines should help:

DRAFT NICE GUIDELINES ON BACK PAIN

  • Consider course of manual therapy
  • Consider course of acupuncture
  • Consider structured exercise programme
  • Do not offer an X-ray
  • MRI only for suspected spinal fusion or other serious underlying condition

Having represented hundreds of people with soft tissue neck and back injures, there is no question these injuries are painful, can be long lasting, and are real. The research supports that with time and care, most people get better in a short time. But, a percentage are permanent injuries and that doesn’t change the answer to the defense’s silly questions any more than the test results do.