When Should You Request an MRI for Back Pain?


When it comes to assessing the internal parts of the body, there is no better tool than an MRI. An MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanner uses a very powerful magnet to produce 3D images of the body or whichever part of the body is afflicted. This helps medical experts to diagnose various conditions and decide on the best course of treatment. 

When you experience back pain, having an MRI performed can help to get to the bottom of the problem. However, MRIs aren't always necessary in these situations. How can you tell whether you should request imaging analysis? You should always see an orthopedic surgery specialist if your back pain is serious enough to need an MRI. They can help evaluate your injury and determine what the best course of action is. Here are some things that would warrant investigation with an MRI:

You've Been Experiencing the Back Pain for Several Months

There are many causes of back pain, and many of these issues can be corrected through standard treatments such as medication and physiotherapy. However, when you've been experiencing back pain for around 3 to 6 months, it's reasonable to request for MRI imaging at this point.

Why should you wait for such a long time before requesting an MRI? For starters, MRI scans aren't cheap. Secondly, an MRI can show a lot of abnormalities, and many of these may have nothing to do with the pain and could lead doctors on a wild goose chase.

You're Experiencing Pain Weeks After Back Surgery

If you've recently had back surgery, it's reasonable to expect a certain amount of pain over the next few weeks. However, if the pain isn't getting better after 4 weeks or so, you should definitely consider getting an MRI. At this stage, an MRI can help doctors to assess the healing and to know whether there is a recurrence of a disc herniation or if what they're looking at is just scar tissue.

Pain Accompanied by Constitutional Symptoms

Back pain on its own can be a problem that's easy to diagnose. However, the problem might be more complex if you're also experiencing constitutional symptoms such as chills, fever, appetite loss, and weight loss. These symptoms might be pointing towards a problem that extends beyond the back pains and could be the result of an infection or a tumor. Therefore, an MRI will have to be conducted so doctors can rule out these possibilities or change the course of treatment.

You are Considering an Epidural Injection

If you're suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis, you might be considering getting an epidural injection. This helps to ease the pain. An MRI scan helps to ensure the needle is placed in the right spot.

Contact companies such as El Camino Center for Sports Medicine‚Äč to learn more about orthopedic surgery.


28 June 2019

Bones Leaving You in Pain? Find an Orthopedist Here

I'm not one to complain too much when my body hurts. But when I fractured my hip last year, I complained a whole lot. My broken hip kept me from being active in life. I felt completely helpless because I could no longer move freely or get around home without my family's assistance. After spending several months in pain, I saw an orthopedist for care. My orthopedist examined my fractured hip and found an infection in the joint. I underwent surgery to remove the damaged tissue and replace it with an artificial hip joint. Now, I feel so much better. My new hip gives me the freedom to move around again. If you have pain in one of your bones from injury or disease, read my blog. I show you how to find an orthopedist who can help you get back your life. Thanks for reading.