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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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Why is an MRI taken for upper back and shoulder pain?

Feb 2014
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 5930 Questions
Hi Doctor i would like to know how an mri can help in a chronic shoulder / upper back pain that i have been having?

Sat, 30 Aug 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 32 minutes later
Brief Answer:
soft tissue structures very well

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your query.

MRI can evaluate the soft tissue structures very well. It is very helpful in evaluating any ligamentous or tendon pathology. Let me know your problem in detail so that I can help you in better ways.

I do hope that you have found something helpful and I will be glad to answer any further query.
Take care
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Why is an MRI taken for upper back and shoulder pain? 2 hours later
i have a discomfort and pain in my upper back right shoulder going upto my right hand. I get the discomfort progressing into pain the moment i sit down. If i stand up the pain begin to gradually reduce. This happened 2 years back and i did physio/etoshine etc. but it has recurred now. may be started with the shrugs i do in the gym (trapezius muscle)...pls advise.
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 33 hours later
Brief Answer:
Description below

Detailed Answer:

Sorry for late reply.

What you are experiencing is called 'Radiculopathy'. It basically suggests entrapment of a nerve root in your cervical spine in its origin or course. It is somehow not so uncommon now in younger population.

It can be caused by lifting weights, episodes of over-exertion during work, long hours on computer, inappropriate posture while sleeping or sitting, lack of proper nutrition-exercises-rest-recreation or any other relevant past medical history.

If it has been persistent or even increasing since few days, you need to visit your orthopaedician. Depending upon the clinical findings they might ask you to get an MRI done, which shall help establish a diagnosis and in turn allow one to formulate a treatment plan.

Let me assure you that this is temporary and self limiting illness that usually the treatment goes in following lines: rest, lifestyle modifications (namely- avoiding pillow while sleeping, following a healthy diet plan, maintaining suitable posture while working on computer/driving, avoiding any activity that strikes neck discomfort), medications (that your physician prescribes) and most important physiotherapy ( in form of neck and shoulder exercises, local ultrasonics).

Wishing you speedy recovery...

Warm regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Why is an MRI taken for upper back and shoulder pain? 11 hours later
Many thanks Doctor for your reply. It is really useful,information and reassuring.
Just one last question on this--can this nerve root entrapment bit be cured forever through posture improvement, avoiding certain activities and medicines or it has a habit of my case is second instance will the MRI help pinpoint where the nerve root entrapment is or will it still be a guess game?
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
It can be cured .

Detailed Answer:

It's nice to hear from you.

It can be cured by the lifestyle modification as mentioned, medicines and physiotherapy. MRI will be helpful to pinpoint the nerve root compression level.

Hope this discussion was useful. Please close this discussion, if you do not have any other queries. I would appreciate your reviews about this service.

For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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