You probably don’t need another MRI

I get it, you want to know what’s going on. Unfortunately, MRI is an abused tool that has this expectation of giving you the precise cause of your pain, which is a myth both physicians and patients both believe. But when you take a step back you realize it’s made docs lazy.

What Is MRI?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides body images by way of a magnetic field. How this works is that certain types of atoms in the body are first aligned by a large and extremely powerful magnet. When the magnet is turned off, these atoms then rearrange back into their original orientation, generating a radio pulse that is interpreted by software in the MRI machine. An image of the complex data is then assembled by the computer. The stronger the MRI magnet, the sharper the image it generates.

You can’t just point to a picture.

You can’t just point to a picture and find the cause of pain. The advent of MRI has dramatically limited docs that take a good history and perform a good  physical exam. Why? Your doctor believes that they can rely on the MRI report to diagnose your condition. 

For most pain conditions MRI is pretty useless. They’re great to justify surgery… but 95% of problems are non-surgical.

So is another MRI going to change how you’re treated? Probably not, so why do you want one?

So get this, if you shoot an MRI of someone over 40 years old, there’s a 50% chance it will show herniated discs or a torn rotator cuff, even if they don’t have any pain in their back, neck or shoulder.

What that means is that the changes that show up on an MRI are probably just something that happen as we get older and the pain we experience isn’t directly cause by the MRI changes.

So instead of pointing to a picture and hoping that your problem is going from there, I do a full physical exam to see how your muscles, nervous system and soft tissue are all working together. Then we target what’s not working with some specialized orthopedic acupuncture and get it to function better.

Pain is complex

Pain doesn’t just come from a single structure or tissue. And as much as we like to believe we can just fix a part of the body like a mechanic replaces parts on a car, that’s just not how we’re built.

The body is one single unit. You can’t try to separate the body like it’s a bunch of mechanical pieces. We’re literally the most complex being in the known universe. Let that sink in for a minute.

You can’t just treat muscles and tendons. 

You can’t just treat fascia.

You can’t just treat inflammation.

You can’t just treat nerves.

You have to take into account all of the structures, all of the nerves, all of the connective tissue, and all of the metabolic components. Then you have to consider how everything works as a cohesive unit.

A better approach

So a specialized orthopedic acupuncture and dry needling treatment at my clinic in Tampa, FL will be comprehensive and address ALL of the potential issues that are causing your body to not be able to heal itself.

There is a reason why your regular doctor or regular acupuncturist can’t do these advanced procedures. 

It’s amazing at how quickly someone with a super messed up looking MRI with multiple bulges and herniations can quickly go from waking up everyday feeling like the tin man to feeling more like their old self again. I hear the same story every single week where patients start telling me they have more good days than bad, even after just 3 or 4 specialized orthopedic acupuncture treatments.

So look, you probably don’t need another MRI for your neck, back, knee or shoulder. It’s basically just a 1k picture to justify cutting into you. Give the non-invasive options a real shot (get it…)

As always, feel free to text or call my Acupuncture & Dry Needling Clinic in Tampa, FL at 813-534-0311 or email me directly at

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Picture of Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson specializes in treating chronic pain and providing fertility support. He has performed 40,000+ procedures over the last 10+ years. Dr. Hanson has a clinic in Tampa, FL where patients travel from all over Florida to receive cutting edge care.

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