High Prevalence of Superior Labral Tears Diagnosed by MRI in Middle-Aged Patients With Asymptomatic Shoulders | Oregon Spine & Physical Therapy

High Prevalence of Superior Labral Tears Diagnosed by MRI in Middle-Aged Patients With Asymptomatic Shoulders

Posted on July 6, 2016

Shoulder pain, back pain, neck pain, knee pain are so incredibly common in society. All pain sufferers are looking for answers as to how to diagnose and treat these problems so they can resume an active and unrestricted life. MRIs and xrays are so commonly utilized in the past that the general public assumes that this is the best process to determine an answer and therefore the best treatment pathway. Many patients get upset or confused when their Dr. does not recommend an MRI. The common logic is why don’t they just take an MRI and really find out what is going on. This is an understandable thought process. However the human body is not that simple and imaging is not as accurate as we may think. For example a study I have included below depicts this concept. The study was performed on people aged 45-60 without any shoulder pain. They were all given an MRI of their pain free shoulder. Here are their conclusions:

Tears are diagnosed with high frequency using MRI in 45- to 60-year-old individuals with asymptomatic shoulders. These shoulder MRI findings in middle-aged populations emphasize the need for supporting clinical judgment when making treatment decisions for this patient population. To avoid overtreatment, physicians should realize that tears diagnosed by MRI in individuals between the ages of 45 and 60 years may be normal age-related findings.

A physical therapist is best suited to perform a thorough mechanical exam of the shoulder and determine the best treatment pathway. We can help determine what you need to do to get better or if another option may be a better fit. Take a look at the study and if you’re interested to learn more about how to improve your shoulder so it doesn’t stand between you and life, give the clinic a call and ask for a free discovery visit with one of our PTs.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26779556