An X-ray is a picture of your joint or your bone, but it doesn’t often tell us much about what is causing your pain. We know this because patients can have really degenerative and arthritic joints on X-ray, but don’t have pain. The opposite is also true; you can have a normal X-ray and be in excruciating pain. This is because there is little to no relationship between the severity of arthritis and pain.
Patients often come to our office very dejected after being told by the doctor that they have arthritis, as if they have been sentenced to constant pain for the rest of their days. Nothing could be further from the truth. In many cases, the onset of pain is recent but the arthritis has been slowly coming on for years to decades, so why now must they be saddled with constant pain? This myth of pain equals arthritis is something that PT’s work very hard to dispel with patients on a daily basis.
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