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Abnormal MRIs on Asymptomatic Volleyball Players

Is pain always due to tissue damage? The answer may surprise you!


Chronic pain is usually ascribed to tissue damage and the standard treatment, depending on the actual diagnosis, is surgery, rest, or pain management with pain medication. However, research shows that chronic pain, more often than not, is from the brain. The pain is real, but it is generated by neural pathways in the brain.


Common diagnoses such as fibromyalgia, herniated disks, slipped disks, torn rotator cuffs, arthritis, and others, actually do not cause pain. They are a normal part of aging and degeneration that occur in all people, including those who are asymptomatic.


The study below shows that volleyball players, who are asymptomatic (no restrictions), had abnormal findings on their MRIs:


  • 23 athletes had rotator cuff tendinosis (88.5%)

  • 17 athletes had partial rotator cuff tears (65.4%)

  • 6 athletes had a labral tear (23.1%)

  • 6 additional athletes had labral fraying (23.1%)


Click the link below to read the study:

Shoulder MRI in asymptomatic elite volleyball athletes shows extensive pathology


The body is designed to heal itself. If pain lasts longer than 6 to 8 weeks, it is most likely due to repressed emotions, a sensitized nervous system, and neural pathways.

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