At Compass Physio in Castlecomer, Co.Kilkenny and Tullyallen Co. Louth we often get asked to send people for MRI scans. So I thought I’d explain what an MRI is and IF you need one.

What is an MRI scan?
Magnetic resonance imaging is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to form pictures of the body. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields, electric field gradients, and radio waves to generate images of the organs in the body. These are then place on films and or a disc which your radiologist will interpret. Following this, the report will be sent to your GP or Physiotherapist.

MRI scans take about 30 mins and you have to enter a narrow, confining tube (so let them know in advance if you’re claustrophobic). In addition, people with some medical implants or other non-removable metal inside the body may be unable to undergo an MRI examination safely. They are also quite noisy and cost circa €300 (this can vary hugely depending on where you get it done and if it’s through insurance). Interpretation of the report can also be a difficult process and can often mislead people regarding their ability and function – See pic

Do you need an MRI one?
For musculoskeletal injuries the first thing you should do is go and see your Physio. At Compass Physio we will be able to do a full objective examination in 30 mins and provide you with a diagnosis. Based on your diagnosis your Physio may try conservative management in the first few weeks following an injury as an early MRI will not chance management of the condition. An MRI may be required if conservative physiotherapy is not resolving the issue and an orthopaedic opinion is required.

So before you go to your GP and request an expensive MRI, pop into your local physiotherapist at Compass Physio for a full examination, diagnosis and plan of action. To make an appointment call 041 9847545 or click here to book in online.

Colin Phillips
Chartered Physiotherapist
Compass Physio

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