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Do I Really Need A Shoulder MRI? Or Surgery?

Many of our patients ask all the time, “Do I need a shoulder MRI?” or “But what if I have a tear in my shoulder? Do I need surgery?”

Good news my friends! The research is solid in many of the major medical journals with these answers:

  • No, an MRI is not usually needed unless a patient has tried at least 6 weeks of Physical Therapy without improvement
  • Most shoulder MRI’s will show something (some sort of a tear) but that’s OK and totally normal, surgery is usually not needed. Most people have some sort of tear without pain.
  • The outcome for treating shoulder tears with (1) Physical Therapy only versus (2) Surgery + Physical Therapy is THE SAME most of the time (surgery is often not really needed!)
  • Many insurance companies are now requiring their patients to try Physical Therapy for at least 6 weeks BEFORE considering surgery, because the research shows PT is often just as effective if not more so

Want more info?
Curious about how Physical Therapy + our many additional specialties working with stubborn/tight connective tissues can help your shoulder symptoms? 

We offer FREE Discovery Consults with our Expert Physical Therapists where you can get your questions answered and gain certainty on whether we can help you with your problem. This is a no-pressure visit where you get to gather more information about your options to move forward and take care of that stubborn/nagging stiff/tight/painful shoulder once and for all.

Schedule online via our website:


Doctors Jereme and Sarah Trunk

Balance Within Integrative Physical Therapy

We Help People Looking For Physical Therapy In Delafield & Beyond Find LASTING Solutions to Aches & Pains NATURALLY… So They Can Get Back to the Active Lifestyle They Want
(...without unnecessary medications or surgeries)

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