So You Want An MRI…
An MRI is not always the whole picture (see what I did there?) There was a study released in this months Sports Health Journal entitled “Elbow MRI Findings Do Not Correlate with Future Placement on the Disabled List in Asymptomatic Professional Baseball Pitchers”. If you’d like to read the details of the article, you can click on the link, but the moral of the story is that “there was NO robust correlation between any single MRI finding and subsequent transfer to the DL (disabled list), and no statistically significant correlation between number of innings pitched and MRI findings, although some trends were observed for both.” So lets just take this finding at its face value: They saw some things in the elbow of professional pitchers, but it did not mean they were going to go on the DL.
Now lets examines a study performed in 2002 on relatively healthy young adults entitled “MRI Changes of Cervical Spine in Asymptomatic and Symptomatic Young Adults”. Again, if you want to read the details of the article, you can click the link, but again, the moral of the story for this study was “the findings in this study are in agreement with others, in that abnormal MRI findings are common in asymptomatic subjects.” This means that using an MRI, abnormalities were found in the necks of healthy young adults with no real symptoms to complain of.
An MRI is not always the whole picture (see what I did there?)
There are many other studies that show this, (and I would love to hear about some of your favorites in the comments section) that we all have some abnormalities going on inside our body, but its not always something to worry about. I am not condemning MRIs. I feel as though MRIs can be very useful at times. All I am asking is that you pause and ask yourself, 1) What is an MRI? 2) Why am I considering getting one? 3) Will the MRI solve the problem?
ONE THING I LEARNED TODAY:
MRIs are a really great tool, but they are usually very expensive, and they will often not fix anything and may even show abnormalities that weren’t bothering you before you had the MRI.