How can you treat me without an MRI or other images?
This is a very common question that we hear during our initial evaluations. Its turns out that in the majority of the cases that we see, there is no diagnostic imaging available. In many instances, a referral will read “shoulder pain,” or “knee pain.” This is where the clinical skill of the therapist is paramount, and also why we are so selective with our staff. Our physical therapists must use their evaluation skills and measures to help determine the root cause of the problem. If images are available, we will read them. However we are quite comfortable performing an evaluation without them. Also, patients will often bring us a CD that has images from an MRI or CT scan. What is more helpful to us is to see the interpretation from the radiologist, as it is quite easy for us to read from the report and relay to the patient what it states, in plain language. We do consider diagnostic imaging information useful, but we always perform a thorough evaluation to ensure that we can prioritize issues and to create a plan for resolving dysfunction.