Since the spine is central in all forms of movement, posture, even resting positions require the use of the spine, spinal pain can one of the most debilitating kinds of pain. When you are having spinal difficulties or pain, life can just slow down. Some can’t move, work or relax without the presence of pain. Understanding the reason behind this kind of spine pain can be the key to getting your life and activities back.
There are several options for those with spinal pain: medication, physical therapy, massage therapy, exercise, and surgery but if you don’t get to the reason behind your spinal pain, you might just be treating the symptoms. The advanced technology of MRIs and other forms of medical imaging could help unlock the cause behind spinal pain.
If you are complaining to your doctor about persistent spinal pain that is interfering in your daily life, they will likely recommend some medical imaging tests in order to confirm a diagnosis.
A spinal X-ray will likely be the first recommended procedure to rule out any structural changes or abnormalities. X-rays are used when examining bone structure, density and alignment. X-rays are beams of ionizing radiation directed at the body. Because bones are denser and sometimes bigger than organs and soft tissues, they are able to absorb more of the X-rays and reflect a clearer image. One of the most common sources of spinal pain are issues like herniated (slipped) discs, bulging discs, and spinal sprains. Beyond that, most spinal injuries are the result of accidents, violence or medical conditions like scoliosis or arthritis. X-rays are totally painless and can provide a basis of reference for any skeletal problem or condition that might be causing you pain.
If a spinal X-ray proves to be inconclusive at finding a reason behind your back pain, a spinal MRI would be the next step. There are limitations with what X-rays can uncover because they can only image the skeleton. MRIs are better at imaging the musculoskeletal system, meaning to go beyond the bone structure and into the soft tissues, nerves and muscles surrounding your spine that could be equal players in your spinal pain. The body’s movements depend on the cooperation between all of these systems along with the spine to provide normal, healthy function.
Scheduling a spinal MRI is a helpful practice when there is a need to examine diseased tissue of the spine, pinched and inflamed nerves, monitoring spinal fusion surgery, infections and the possibility of tumors. MRI technology uses the power of magnetic field along with computer technology to create images. Unlike X-rays and CT scans, there is no radiation involved in an MRI. By combining both an X-ray technology and MRI capabilities, doctors can cover most of the bases when it comes to discovering the cause of spinal pain.
Once you know the cause of your back pain, you can begin configuring a treatment plan with your doctor. Having to live with back pain can decrease your quality of life, so do what is possible to find a solution to your back pain. If you are worried about the cost of medical imaging in regards to your spinal pain, consider coming to Doctors Imaging for your procedures. We accept multiple insurance plans and are open to creating payment plans for those patients that do not currently have insurance. We are even open on Saturdays for those spinal MRI patients that cannot make an appointment during our weekday hours.
If you have more questions about how medical imaging can help to increase your quality of life regarding your back pain, please check out our X-ray Service Page or our MRI Service Page for more information. You can also call our offices at 504-833-8111 Monday through Friday to speak with a representative from Doctors Imaging about scheduling your appointment.