As Char & Jim said, there are differences between MRI machines. There are two types of MRI machines, a 1T (tesla) and a 3T machine. The 3T machine is much more powerful & sensitive than the 1T machine. According to my doctors, it is not uncommon for something to show up on a scan from a 3T machine, when it did not on a 1T machine, if the area of interest is small, hard to image, etc (this actually happened to me). The 3T machines tend to be at bigger or more specialized hospitals, such as teaching hospitals. The use of contrast & the skill of the people working & reading the scans can also play come into account. But then again, just because the MRI doesn't show anything, doesn't mean that nothing is wrong. Despite all of our technology, there are a lot of things that we cannot see and do not know. Some of the stuff that I have going on is impossible to see with an MRI due to both the nature of the problem & the ability of our technology, but that doesn't make it any less real - more complicated, yes, but less real, no.
I'd talk with your pcp & see if he can recommend you to someone else. Not all pain management physicians are created equal either. Some only
do injections & procedures. You might also think about
talking with your pcp, or your pain doc about
why nothing is showing up on the MRI/what this means (what else could be the source of the pain), and if there is any other type of testing that they could do -- more imaging, physical tests/exam, neurological tests, blood work, etc.
It is so hard when you don't have a diagnosis! Especially when you have symptoms that no one can explain. I know all too well.
Also, I don't remember if you have explored any of the alternative treatment options, but that may be something that you might want to look into pursuing in the near future. There are a lot of different modalities out there, and many people find them very helpful, although it may take some time to find the right treatment. Sometimes "modern medicine" just can't offer us what we need. I'm a big believer in natural & alternative healing practices. My list of alternative practitioners is almost a large as my list of doctors, and in most cases, the little relief I have gotten has come from the alternative practitioners rather than the MD's!
Post Edited (skeye) : 7/22/2009 12:53:05 PM (GMT-6)