Low Back Pain MRI Showing Disuse Muscle Atrophy

If you have low back pain, an MRI can be very helpful detecting the problem and to see if there is any disuse muscle atrophy.

If you would like us to take a look at your MRI call us at (360) 260-6903.







Hey, it’s Dr. Troy here, the Vancouver chiropractor.

I want to review an MRI view with you.

A lot of patients who come to our office have never seen their MRI or they don’t know what’s on it. They get confused, they see the report. maybe they’ve been told they need cortisone shots or surgery to help with their low back pain. So we always like to give patients an opportunity to explore other treatment options rather than back surgery and medications that can lead to all kinds of problems. We want to try a conservative approach first.

This is actually a view, we’re looking straight down this is a blown-up view, we’re looking straight down on somebody’s spine so we’re going to take a cross-section this way across the patients. What we’re looking at here, this is going to be the patient’s backside okay, so that’s the back they’re laying on a table here their belly is going to be up here. this is actually the sacrum so the sacral bone you can see it’s outlined here and the spinal cord and nerve route structures are going to be right in this canal here.

So, these through here this region here these are the posterior muscles, the postural muscles in your lower back. What we really want to highlight here is if you had a nice piece of meat it would look normally like this dark material. So virtually let’s say a top sirloin versus like a ribeye, ribeye can have a lot of marbling in it a lot of fat and that white area is actually what you’re seeing is a lot of fatty infiltration in the lower back muscles.

What that means is they’ve got disuse atrophy in there. A lot of times you see people get a back injury, the joints don’t work right, the nerves don’t fire right, now the muscles don’t fire right and if you don’t use a muscle it’s going to atrophy. In this case, it’s filled in with a lot of fat. We see this a ton of times with patients who have back pain, leg pain, stenosis pain, so we have a protocol for helping strengthen these muscles, reactivating them so that we wake up the muscles so that when gravity loads you up when you put your foot on the ground in the morning that this actually helps to support you instead of weaken you and  put more damage to the surrounding discs and nerves and soft tissue creating chronic back pain.

The rehab protocol that we use in our office is very effective along with the spinal decompression machine the DRX 9000 to help decompress nerve roots, spinal cord tension and then help get you stronger so that when you get out of bed in the morning you’re able to fight gravity better.

If you want to schedule a time to come review your MRI with us to see if we can offer you a more holistic approach to correcting back and disc issues we’d be happy to do that for you. Call our office (360) 260-6903.