Symptoms can tell you a lot

Symptoms and observation can tell you a lot about a person. X-rays can't. People love x-rays because you can SEE something. The problem is you can't see everything, and if you're only looking at x-rays, you'll miss stuff.

Dull achy pain is different that sharp stabbing pain. Dull achy pain is often caused by degenerative tendons, ligaments or joint capsules. Sharp stabbing pain is often caused by a pinched nerve. Numbness is always nerve tissue irritation. Stiffness is caused by strained ligaments around the joints. X-ray or MRI anyone over 40 years old and there will be some arthritis, disc bulges, or degeneration of discs, but the MRI won't find these subtle soft tissue findings. They can't. They're only found through a thoughtful examination and listening to what they patient says. 

Without listening to the patient and having a great understanding of what they're saying, it is difficult to find those subtle findings. 

So the most important part of doctoring is to listen.

Consider this: an x-ray only shows bone. If you have a tendon problem, the x-ray will not be of any value. This is why we always listen to the patient and examine them first. We only use x-ray and MRI's if they are absolutely necessary