When A Picture Doesn’t Tell The Whole Story

It can be challenging to decide how to handle pain.  Any time a client asks whether they should get a scan to verify an injury, I always ask what they will do with the information?  Sometimes getting verification can be helpful, but sometimes it just leads to bigger questions.  Will surgery really help, is that the answer?  Would it be better to try physical therapy to resolve the issue before undergoing an invasive surgical procedure?
Images can be a helpful assessment tool, but sometimes they can be misleading.  Just because an image shows something, it doesn’t always mean that it is the root of the pain.  In the image above, a lumbar disk herniation was able to be treated with physical therapy instead of surgery, providing the same results, but with a much less invasive process.
Another common example are meniscus tears in the knee, which are commonly referred for orthopedic surgery.  Physical therapy is a good first stop for treatment to learn exercises that can reduce pain and inflammation and get you stronger. You may or may not need surgery after a round of physical therapy, but at least you would go into surgery with improved strength, range of motion and knowledge.
Take the time to consider what options you’re interested in before pursuing surgery.  Recovery from surgery can take a toll, physically, emotionally and financially, as well as a great deal of time in recovery.  Working with a physical therapist can help you develop a treatment plan and potentially help you avoid or delay surgery.
Call 410.381.1574 to schedule an appointment to determine your best treatment plan.
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