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The Weight Bearing Difference
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For most of us, we spend nearly 70% of our lives either on our feet or on our seat. For those of us who spend a majority of time on our feet, we are continually putting stress onto our spines by improperly lifting, twisting and bending. For those of us who have office jobs or a job that requires a large amount of time behind the wheel, we are continuously placing stress onto our backs by not always sitting in proper sitting positions. As the day goes on, we find ourselves hunching over our desks or slouching back in our chairs or favoring a lean on one arm or the other. While there are some people that always have good lifting posture or good sitting posture, most of us tend to weaken as the day goes on and we eventually begin discovering back discomfort from not using proper lifting technique, or maybe from over swinging a golf club to much, or maybe even from slouching in our chairs for the majority of most days.

Whatever the reason is that you start feeling pains in your back, I can assure you the pain will likely be most severe while you are in the position that you spend most of your day, whether it be standing or sitting. If you are experiencing ongoing pain while sitting and leaning forward, but the pain alleviates while lying down, wouldn't it be safe to say that your ailment would show more severe while sitting and leaning forward? Did you know your spine absorbs 11 times more pressure standing or sitting than it does while you are lying down? This is why when an MRI scan is done on a patient either standing or sitting vs. lying down in the recumbent positions, the upright images often show more severe changes in your spinal composition. This is the weight bearing difference.

The weight bearing difference in MRI terms defines how we are able scan our patients. If we are able to scan patients in their weight bearing position rather than lying down, we can view their symptoms in their most severe state giving the radiologist more accurate visual information for making a proper diagnosis. Because of the weight bearing difference, there is strong evidence to support that there will be less unsuccessful surgeries and maybe for some of us, even the chance of avoiding surgery all together.


Sioux Falls Open Upright MRI, LLC
6001 S. Sharon Ave. Ste. #7 | Phone: 605.275.5743 | Fax: 605.271.2235

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Balancing on two legs puts excessive strain on the 33 bones, 31 pairs of nerves and 40 muscles of the back.

Back pain effects 60 percent of the population

50 percent of the population have back pain within any given year.

Backaches disable over six million Americans for more than a week each year.