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Defining the Baseline: The Truth About X-Rays


In a world filled with so much technology, we think the more we see, the more capable we are to diagnose a problem and correct the situation, however, when it comes to Musculoskeletal conditions, we need to take a closer look.


We have all been to ESPN.com or have watched the ticker on the bottom of the TV during a game for the up-to-the-minute updates on everything going on in the sports world. As soon as a player goes down in a game, we see the speculation begin across the bottom of the screen: “The way he fell, it looks like an ACL, or maybe a meniscus.” “I saw the way he made that tackle. I think he’s going to have back spasms.”


The athlete inevitably receives X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, or other imaging tests to diagnose his condition so that the severity of the injury can be shared with the coaches and fans. Unfortunately, seeing these professional athletic trainers and doctors opt for imaging exams to diagnose these injuries may lead viewers at home and on the field to believe it to be the best or only diagnostic test the world has to offer.

There is a problem with this line of thinking though. MRI’s and CT Scans result in a false positive up to 50% of the time, not because of the technology is bad, but rather because of the over utilization of the technology. We rely on advanced imaging as the end-all, be-all of diagnosis, and use the results to dictate the treatment.



"When you develop pain or a symptom, resolving the problem should not always start with a picture. It should start by answering the question of where the pain or symptom is coming from."



Did you know that 40% of Americans are pain free, but have a torn meniscus, or, that by your 60th birthday there is 100% chance of you having either arthritis, degenerative disc disease, stenosis, and/or bone spurs even though you may be pain free? It is no wonder that 40% of musculoskeletal conditions are misdiagnosed through imaging alone.


When you develop pain or a symptom, resolving the problem should not always start with a picture. It should start by answering the question of where the pain or symptom is coming from. The most reliable and valid way to do this is by setting baselines for movement and weakness. With the baselines set, you then begin performing directional movements or sustaining a position followed by retesting the baselines. It might hurt initially, but if the baselines are easier to perform, strength and/or motion improves, then it guarantees you can resolve your condition through movement. Even if pain gets worse, movement may still the best care pathway for a patient, it could just be that the incorrect movement was chosen for the condition.


The JointStrong® Assessment is programmed with intelligence gathered from over 600k clinical encounters and builds personalized treatment plans specific to the condition, allowing you to affect your symptoms in real time and interpret the results. JointStrong® also empowers you with the knowledge to avoid future recurrence through preventative practices. In the event you need assistance with your treatment plan, Health Coaches are available to assist you by answer technical questions or connect you with a Virtual Care / In-Person JointStrong® clinician in your area.


In today’s world, we rely on technology for so much that we sometimes forget the most conservative approaches are truly the best. JointStrong® is here to help put your mind at ease and move you from Healthcare to Self-Care!



Visit JointStrong.com to learn more!

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