The vast majority of people in the United States will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Most of the time the pains are minor and will dissipate after a while. But sometimes the pain is severe and does not go away, and in these situations a MRI is often required to find out exactly what the problem is so it can be treated properly. While most people have heard about a MRI, some might not know what they are exactly or what they are used for.
What Is A MRI?
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and it is a noninvasive scan that uses radio waves, the magnetic field of the scanner, and the body's natural magnetic properties to produce detailed images of your spine. MRIs use radio frequency pulses in a safe range, which do not damage tissue when they pass through your body during the scan. It is the best means currently available to get a detailed view of the back in order to determine what condition(s) you are suffering with, and the best way to treat them.
How Are They Used?
The images from a MRI will include clear views of the spine’s soft tissues, which are not visible in an x-ray. The MRI offers detailed views of the spinal discs, vertebrae, the spinal canal, back muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and bone marrow or softer inner part of the spinal bones. The MRI shows the spine in a 3-dimensional manner, allowing the doctor to study it in layers or cross-sectional views.
The MRI may make it easier to diagnose the root cause of your back pain, which may stem from one or more of these conditions:
- Herniated Discs
- Bulging Discs
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Spinal Stenosis
- Past injuries
- Compression fractures
- Bony overgrowth
- Or a less serious medical problem
At the Illinois Back Institute we strive to educate everyone as much as possible about their back pain and sciatica, because it is proven that the more people know about their problem the more likely they are to eliminate it!
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