Should I Spend $1,800 on a MRI or Get Better for Less from Physical Therapy Treatment

Hey, guys, it’s Stephen from CORE Therapy and Pilates. I wanted to go over a case study with you today about a client that called in and he had neck pain that had been going on for about two years. And, with his neck pain, when he finally went to go get some treatment done, he saw his doctor. His doctor immediately referred him to an orthopedist, and the orthopedist wouldn’t see him until he got an MRI.

So, he has a very high deductible. The patient had a $5,000 deductible. So, in order to get that MRI, it was going to cost him $1,800 out of his pocket. So, basically, a very expensive selfie. And with the MRI, it might give me some information of what I would do, or how I would treat him, but, at the same time, it’s not gonna determine a whole lot of difference of what I’m going to do with him, unless there’s something really severe that shouldn’t be there, like a tumor or whatnot.

But the reality is, for the $1,800 that he was gonna have to spend to get his MRI, he was able to come in and see me for five sessions of PT. He was able to come in and see my trainer for five sessions of Pilates right after we finished PT. So, because I don’t take insurance, he was able to come in and actually pay me less, Hundreds less, than he would have paid for the MRI, and he actually got 90 percent better.

So, instead of spending $1,800 to get an image taken, that wouldn’t have made a difference at all with what I would have done with him, he was able to actually get 90% better, for hundreds less than what he would have paid for that MRI. So, I just wanted to go over that with you. I think that the doctors use the MRI’s frequently to scare people, and encourage people to get surgeries that aren’t necessary or warranted.

And, so, before you have an MRI, a Physical Therapist can really help you and determine if you need that MRI. If someone came and saw me for those five visits and they didn’t make the changes we expected, then I would recommend for them to go see someone else and get that MRI. But, that wasn’t the case with him. We were able to knock it out and really help him reach his goals of getting back to golf weekly and normal exercise 3-4 times per week .

So if you’re contemplating on getting an MRI and spending a lot of money on just a picture that’s not gonna really change the course of treatment, from a conservative treatment standpoint, it might change the treatment from a invasive treatment option. So, with that said, I just want to share that story.

I think it’s pretty powerful and with a little bit of effort, and spending some money to get better, it’s a much better solution than spending money on a picture that’s not gonna, really, provide a lot of information. So, that’s the case study I wanted to go over with today.

You can reach us at 512-215-4227 with any questions. Thanks a lot.

Have a great day.

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Co-Owner / Physical Therapist at CORE Therapy and Pilates
Stephen graduated with a Masters in Physical Therapy in 1998 from LSUMC in New Orleans and is a licensed physical therapist in Texas since 2004. Immediately interested in hands-on therapy, he began to study with Brian Mulligan and became certified in the Maitland Australian Approach in 2003. Stephen has since studied the fascial system through John F Barnes Myofascial Release. Stephen completed a comprehensive Pilates training in 2002 and the GYROTONIC Expansion System® in 2009. The combined treatment of manual therapy with mind-body awareness exercises using Pilates and Gyrotonic concepts was the start of his whole-body treatment approach.
Stephen Dunn