Analyzing the cervical spine of neck pain patients who have MRIs noting some changes in the spine can be interesting, confusing, and/or (non)directive for treatment planning. Young Chiropractic always views imaging through the lens of the clinical symptomatology and spinal exam. Easley neck pain with imaging-revealed changes in the cervical spine will get a treatment plan based on both imaging (if/when available) and clinical exam findings.
MRI-SEEN CHANGES IN DISC AND VERTEBRA
MRI is an amazing technology. It is used commonly to evaluate intervertebral disc degeneration. When spine pain persists even with care for an extended period of time, performing imaging is logical and follows today’s guidelines for back pain management. The imaging findings must be correlated with the clinical symptomatology found in the clinical exam to direct the care for optimal relief. Modic Changes – vertebral bone endplate and bone marrow changes - are typically noted when radiologists review the MRI and classify the level of disc degeneration with level 1 being the least degenerated and level 3 being the most degenerated. More lumbar spine studies have been performed to correlate back pain symptoms with imaging findings. In the cervical spine, the studies are scarcer. A review of 14 research studies regarding the link between neck pain and/or cervical spine disc degeneration to MRI-revealed Modic changes reported that cervical spine Modic changes were seen in 5% to 40% of the images. Patients whose MRIs showed Modic changes described more neck pain and disability. Their imaging also showed more cervical disc degeneration. (1) Of late, one MRI study of cervical spines of neck pain and shoulder stiffness patients reported that no system of classification of cervical disc degeneration showed any relationship to clinical symptoms. However, the researchers did explain that vertebral endplate changes may be connected to clinical symptom presentations. (2) Chiropractic care can help pain due to disc degeneration and vertebral changes.
When [[companyname treats patients with MRI imaging showing Modic changes, researchers and clinicians have been challenged to correlate effective non-surgical treatment options. Review of studies already published about the care of Modic change associated back pain, in this case it was low back pain, revealed that spinal manipulation was suggested as an option. The review listed insufficient support for use of medication and rigid lumbar brace wearing, antibiotics’ use as controversial, and exercise therapy’s use to reduce back pain intensity as having low evidence support. (3) Talk about imaging being interesting, confusing, and/or (non)directive! One thing your Easley chiropractor knowledgeably and safely delivers is spinal manipulation for neck pain and back pain relief manytimes before and/or despite imaging. Young Chiropractic stays the course with what we see helps our patients.
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Listen to the PODCAST with Dr. Matthew Scott on the Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he explains the effective, gentle treatment with the Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management for his patient with cervical spine disc degeneration and herniation that allowed him to avoid spine surgery.
Schedule your next Easley chiropractic appointment with Young Chiropractic. MRIs and Modic changes will not confuse your chiropractor when it comes to establishing a neck pain relieving treatment plan for your cervical spine issues.