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Spinal Care Clinic Calmly Considers MRIs Modic Changes

“Your MRI shows some Modic changes.” Spinal Care Clinic says “Do not panic too much.” Our Burlington and Hamilton back pain and neck pain patients are in good company concerning MRI reports talking about Modic changes. The research is evolving about just what Modic changes on MRI mean for a patient..and what they do not. Spinal Care Clinic creates some perspective about these common MRI findings.


“Modic changes” is a phrase used to describe the changes of the spine’s vertebral endplates which are related to spinal degeneration. Modic type I changes are essentially considered to be bone marrow edema and inflammation indicating acute degenerative changes.  Modic type II changes represent fatty degeneration of the bone marrow. Modic III changes signify the replacement of bone with bony sclerosis with minimal bone marrow remaining. (1) Spinal Care Clinic appreciates the chance to treat a painful back earlier in this cascade of change whenever possible. Spinal Care Clinic treats disc degeneration and spinal degenerative changes.


Modic changes are familiar findings on MRI. Modic changes on MRI appear in spinal degenerative diseases and are greatly associated with low back pain. (1) They are age-related degenerative findings that come with disc degeneration. Greater Modic changes were tied to higher age, higher body mass index, and adjacent disc degeneration. (2) Lifestyle and occupational factors like cigarette smoking, regular exercise, and nonappearance of daily vehicle vibration appeared to have minor effects, if any, on the development of Modic changes in the lumbar spine. (3) Clearly, Spinal Care Clinic encourages proper lifestyle choices for overall good health!


What is unclear is the research regarding just what Modic changes mean for back pain patients. Recent research demonstrated that Modic changes were not understood to be negatively affiliated with long-term pain, disability, or sick leave. The study reported that low back pain patients who had Modic changes had much less disability and sick-leave at long-term follow-up. (4) This is encouraging news to our Burlington and Hamilton chiropractic back pain patients!

CONTACT Spinal Care Clinic

Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. Robert Rudy on The Back Doctors’ Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson who detailed his treatment plan with the Cox® Technic System for their back pain relief to his patients so they understand.

Schedule your Burlington and Hamilton chiropractic appointment now. Bring your MRIs with you. Together, Spinal Care Clinic and you will look at them for information and develop a treatment plan for Burlington and Hamilton back pain relief that will prevent us both from panicking!

Spinal Care Clinic sees many back pain and neck pain patients who bring their MRIs with them to the office. Modic changes are often seen.  
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"This information and website content is not intended to diagnose, guarantee results, or recommend specific treatment or activity. It is designed to educate and inform only. Please consult your physician for a thorough examination leading to a diagnosis and well-planned treatment strategy. See more details on the DISCLAIMER page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I."