One way that doctors can diagnose your condition to develop an effective treatment is to use a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. MRIs, like X-rays and CT scans, capture images of your body beneath the surface of the skin. But, that’s about as far as their similarities go.
An MRI captures images using powerful magnets that stir up the hydrogen atoms in your body. These atoms emit a signal that can be captured in clear images that can be used for a diagnosis. There are many benefits to using an MRI for a diagnosis, including:
- MRIs capture images of bones and tissue — X-rays are the go-to for many conditions affecting your bones because they’re fast and easy. However, X-rays do not capture images of the soft tissue like your muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
If your physician suspects your condition is related to a problem in the soft tissue, an MRI may be necessary for a successful diagnosis.
- MRIs take three-dimensional images — MRI machines capture several images from different angles. These images are compiled together to make a three-dimensional image for a more accurate view of your body.
This is one reason MRI machines are known for being a little noisy. The magnets have to rotate to capture images from different angles.
- MRIs are not invasive — Most MRIs do not involve the use of contrast agents like in X-rays or CT scans. However, in some cases, it is necessary to use a contrast agent, but the agents used in MRIs rarely cause allergic reactions.
- MRIs are clean — Unlike X-rays, MRIs do not use radiation. This is beneficial for your health, especially if you have a condition that increases the dangers of radiation. Nor do they use radiation or allergy-contrast agents
- MRIs can be used for a variety of conditions — Since all you need to do during an MRI scan is lie still, an MRI can be used on most people for a variety of reasons. However, there are some limitations.
For example, people with metal implants, like an artificial joint or a pacemaker, cannot undergo an MRI. The magnets can disturb these implants and create a safety hazard. Also, women who are pregnant may not be good candidates for an MRI as studies are inconclusive on the effects of radio waves on a fetus.
Visit iRISE Spine and Joint for an MRI
Does your doctor want you to get an MRI scan to provide the images necessary for a more accurate diagnosis? Our team at iRISE Spine and Joint can help. Contact us today to speak with one of our dedicated patient care coordinators to learn more about MRIs or to schedule an appointment.