11 “Healthy” Things That Are Actually a Waste of Time

X-ray or MRI for back pain
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X-ray or MRI for back pain

Most of the time, patients with lower back pain don’t need an X-Ray, MRI, or CT scan to inform treatment, says Munger and a few other professional societies. The results aren’t likely to change your doctor’s recommendations or lead to you becoming pain-free faster since most lower back pain gets better within a month. Rarely, serious conditions like metastatic cancer or a spinal infection will be behind the pain, but these come with other symptoms or risk factors to clue doctors in. Most of the time, the cause is a muscle issue that stretching, strengthening your core muscles, applying heat, or taking non steroidal medications like ibuprofen or naproxen will take care of, Munger says.

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