Can an MRI Determine the Cause of Back Pain?

Woman holding her back

When you’re suffering from back pain, it’s important to find a treatment for its cause. Sometimes, back pain requires little more than some rest and home remedies for treatment. Other times, you may need professional health care assistance. In these cases, your health care provider will need an accurate diagnosis to develop an effective treatment.

Physicians have different methods for diagnosing the cause of pain. Often, a diagnosis will include an examination of the physical symptoms and a review of your medical records. Some diagnoses also require the use of imaging.

The different image capturing methods can be used as part of a complete diagnosis. For example, to find out how serious a fracture is, your doctor may request an X-ray image of your bones. However, X-rays are limited and cannot capture images of the soft tissue. That’s why many diagnoses include the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

What is an MRI?

MRIs involve the use of large, powerful magnets that emit radio waves that are used to map a three-dimensional image of the inside of your body. MRIs can capture images of the bones, muscles, soft tissues, and cartilage, which is helpful in providing a more complete perspective of your condition.

An MRI machine is a long hollowed-out cylinder in which you lie still while the magnets rotate around you. Sometimes, the procedure is finished after a couple of minutes. Other times, it may take closer to an hour. Either way, a qualified MRI technician will make sure you’re as comfortable as possible during your procedure.

Are MRIs used for back pain?

MRIs are not typically the first choice for diagnosing back pain. Many conditions and injuries that cause pain in the back can be diagnosed without the use of an MRI. However, some forms of back pain are difficult to identify without the use of a thorough MRI scan.

If you have back pain you have not been unable to successfully treat, then you should talk to your doctor about the benefits of an MRI. If he or she thinks it could help figure out what’s causing your pain, you should visit Florida Spine and Joint for a scan.

Visit iRISE Spine and Joint for an MRI

Do you need an MRI to confirm the cause of your back pain so you can receive an effective treatment? Our technicians at iRISE Spine and Joint can help you. Contact us today to speak with one of our dedicated patient care coordinators to learn more about MRIs or schedule an appointment.