What is an MRI?

Many people associate an MRI with knee injuries, but the truth is that they are a useful tool for medical professionals in a whole range of situations. Not only do they provide necessary information for diagnosing all sorts of disorders and conditions, but they are safe to use, without the same dangers of an x-ray because of their lack of ionizing radiation. It should be noted however that an MRI can be problematic for people with pacemakers or similar medical devices.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging technique that relies on magnets, radio waves, and computer software to create a detailed picture of the inside of your body. It is commonly used to diagnose torn or injured tendons and ligaments from sports injuries and the like. An MRI is also useful for documenting the process of recovery.

What Can An MRI be used to diagnose?

One of the key areas that an MRI is useful for is to conduct imaging scans of a patient’s brain or spinal cord. The latter can be especially relevant for chiropractors. We often need to employ an MRI to help diagnose and assess spinal cord injuries or multiple sclerosis. Other problems that can be identified in an MRI include blood vessel damage, brain injuries, cancer, and strokes. The high-resolution images from an MRI can provide doctors with invaluable knowledge of what might be causing the pain and discomfort a patient is suffering and inform what type of treatment will work best.

Two issues that chiropractors must deal with when they are trying to figure out what is wrong with a patient are phenomena known as radiating pain and referred pain. Radiating pain is when the pain starts in one location and then travels to another, as often happens with damage to the sciatic nerve. Referred pain is when a general area of the body experiences pain with no clear point of origin.

What both these issues have in common is that the location of the pain does not directly correlate to a physical ailment. Chiropractors and doctors have been struggling for decades with how to treat symptoms without a clear indication of the source of the problem. An MRI has become a tremendous tool that helps medical professionals to accurately diagnose and treat problems afflicting the nervous system, skeletal system, or circulatory system.

MRI and Chiropractic Care

Knowing when an MRI will prove useful and when it is unnecessary is an important part of a chiropractor’s job. They can offer invaluable information in certain circumstances, but in this day and age, many doctors over-rely on them. They are most often recommended when there is evidence of significant injury to the spinal cord or when the patient’s pain might be indicative of a serious condition, such as cancer.


If you or a loved one is suffering from a condition that could be helped with an MRI, Zenaptic Chiropractic can help. Call to schedule a FREE consultation so that we can assess your injury or problem and discuss possible treatment plans. Our staff of medical professionals is fully committed to the health and well-being of our patients.