Understand Conservative Care Before Stepping Into an MRI

After several months of knee or shoulder pain, you’ve determined that conservative measures like pain reducers, icing, and rest just aren’t doing the trick. There may be something more serious going on below the surface of your major joints. A cartilage tear, ligament injury, or muscle damage, all of which will not likely show up on an X-Ray.

Sonos Imaging offers convenient access to soft tissue diagnostic imaging such as an MRI to help your physician determine any type of injury beyond the bone however it’s common practice for a physician to pursue conservative care prior to ordering an MRI.


Steps Toward Treatment for an Injury

The initial goal with any type of musculoskeletal complaint is to

  1. Properly diagnose it and determine what the problem is.
  2. Recommend a treatment plan.

Understanding what the patient has done to cause the injury or determine some of the aggravating factors first, then a physician can make recommendations to modify your activity or to possibly avoid activities that could be harmful or exasperate an injury or more importantly increase your pain and prohibit healing.


Forms of Conservative Care

Conservative care is what it sounds like. No surgery or anything invasive is recommended when an injury can be managed conservatively.

  • Medication - An anti-inflammatory medication or muscle relaxant is used to deal with inflammation. Pain medication can help get you through that acute or systematic phase of an injury.
  • Self-Management - Sometimes a three to four day course of medication management with some self-management strategies such as modified activity and a couple of stretches or exercises can target weakened areas of stability.
  • Chiropractic care or Physical Therapy - Chiropractic care that focuses on joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, adjustments, and manipulation, along with physical therapy, plays a big role in identifying weakness and stability issues.

Other forms of conservative care can be a little more invasive such as an epidural steroid injection where a specialist puts a little bit of medicine in the disc or in a joint. Very effective for lower back and neck problems, treatments are performed by a specialist often under fluoroscopy or an x-ray. You go to a specialist such as a board-certified pain management specialist, an anesthesiologist that will It’s an outpatient procedure that takes all of 10 or 15 minutes and you’re home doing what you needed to do later that day. This can be as well.

The level of conservative care can be dictated by the amount of pain you are experiencing. When you check in with your primary care physician or family physician, it’s to get through that symptomatic or acute or that very painful phase. Then we can transition you into more active care.


When patients require diagnostic services, Sonos Imaging wants to provide service in such a manner that offers a convenient location and the most comfortable environment imaginable. We have two offices for your convenience. Our first office is located at 2715 Legends Parkway in Prattville, Alabama next to Lemak Health and across from Home Depot. Our Birmingham office is located at 5018 Cahaba River Road in Birmingham, Alabama.


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