Posts tagged "pain"

When should you get an MRI?

September 10th, 2018 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “When should you get an MRI?”

“Do you think I need an MRI?”

I hear this quite often. Often times patients in pain wonder when or if they need to get an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

From an orthopedic (muscle, bone, tendon) standpoint, it is not needed as often as you may think. Most aches and pain in your joints can be determined with a good exam, assessing how you function/move, and x-rays to rule out any serious conditions.

In fact, research is indicating more and more that MRIs lead us to overdiagnose conditions.

Take back pain for example. An MRI should not be a routinely ordered test, it should only be used if severe dysfunction is noted. In addition, MRIs should be used if a patient is a candidate for surgery and/or spinal injection based on strong research and recommendations.

Often times in major research reviews we see phrases such as this:

“The rate of false-positive imaging is substantial. Anatomic abnormalities have demonstrated a poor correlation with patient symptoms and may lead to increased surgical rates without improved outcomes.” source

The next logical question is, “but how can you know what is wrong without seeing an image?”

The truth is, if your bony structure and other serious issues are taken off the table by a thorough examination, we can usually isolate the pain via stressing the structures not so easily seen by an x-ray.

This is not to say that MRIs are not useful; they just have their indications and appropriate use. With greater bodies of research reporting that a small snapshot can show us (at great detail) anatomical variations that are completely normal and without related symptoms.

If we can pinpoint a movement or an activity that you do that can bring on your pain, it is more likely we can design a program that can rehabilitate it. Think: If there is a way we can provoke and irritate the pain, we can most likely find the solution to the pain.

At RISE Rehabilitation and Fitness, your physical therapy evaluation will work to find any tightness, weakness, or troublesome tissue in order to get you to return to pain-free activity. We use a wide array of therapeutic strategies to eliminate your pain such as manual therapy, instrument-assisted soft tissue massage, cupping, dry needling, therapeutic taping, joint mobilizations, as well as other techniques to get your pain down and your function improving.

Physical therapy prior to an MRI can help many individuals limit medication, avoid expensive procedures (such as an MRI) and avoid surgery. If you have pain and want to seek out treatment prior to more invasive procedures and live in or around Bergen County, NJ, please contact us at RISE Rehabilitation and Fitness.

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @RiseRehabFit and on Facebook. For those in Northern New Jersey, Bergen County area, visit our website at to come in for a tour and consultation.

The above is not a substitute for medical advice and does not take place for seeking a healthcare provider.

Does posture cause pain?

August 28th, 2018 Posted by Wellness 0 thoughts on “Does posture cause pain?”

The effects of posture on pain is misunderstood. To answer the question, posture does not cause pain alone.

The body has a tremendous ability to adapt. It adapts by responding to whatever load or stress that is placed on it. That is why a bodybuilder can curl weights to grow his biceps over a period of time. Strength training as it relates to muscle building is a common example of how a body responds to load.

Other structures adapt as well in various predictable patterns. Simply put, as you sit and slump, your posture will respond accordingly. Pain can occur if you load your body in a way that it is not used to.

Real-World Example

Here is a common example that might make things a bit clearer. Take a person that works at a desk such as an administrator. As the administrator is slouched in their chair, their back may round and the shoulders may come forward.

The rounded (or forward-flexed) back and forward shoulders make it less advantageous to do things that require you to extend your back say as with an individual reaching over-head.

That can manifest itself in that same administrator if they decide to paint a room in their house one day, or throw a ball with a friend or family member. Reaching overhead can increase stress on the low back since it is not accustomed to that position.

How about the forward shoulders? That puts the shoulder — and shoulder blade — in a disadvantageous position. This can make reaching overhead stressful on the shoulders. Higher demand activities such as throwing a ball can pain or tissue damage with limited range of motion that can result from poor posture.

So as you can see, it isn’t necessarily the posture that effects people however being in one position for too long can create muscle imbalances across the body. Static postures can make other activities more difficult or, place you at a higher risk of injury.

How to avoid this?

Ultimately, staying active while varying your exercise type is the best way to maintain fitness and prevent risk for injury. Challenge yourself with exercises in different positions and postures. This will keep you physically prepared for any and all tasks you enjoy doing.

Remember, your body responds to whatever load and stress you give it. If it is in one posture and doing the same activity every day, your body will start accommodating to form its body to handle that task. A seated, slumped posture is not a good training position for much else other than sitting.

Next week’s post will address common stretches to perform for those that find themselves having to sit a lot.

Getting an evaluation by a physical therapist will help determine areas that can be improved upon to prevent or recover from injury as well as help design the right program for you.

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @RiseRehabFit and on Facebook. For those in Northern New Jersey, Bergen County area, visit our website at to come in for a tour and consultation.

The above is not a substitute for medical advice and does not take place for seeking a healthcare provider.

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