An MRI is a
test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make
pictures of the
spine. In many cases an MRI gives different information
ultrasound, or a
CT scan. An MRI also may show
problems that cannot be seen with other imaging tests.
MRI, your body is placed inside a machine that contains a strong
magnet. Pictures from an MRI can be saved and
stored on a computer for further study. In some cases, a
contrast material may be used during the MRI to
show certain parts of the body more clearly.
The MRI can find changes in the spine and in other tissues. It also can find problems
such as infection or a tumor. MRI can look at the spine in the neck (cervical), upper back (thoracic), or lower back (lumbosacral). The
entire spine can be seen in one series of pictures to find a tumor. More
detailed pictures of one area, such as the lumbar spine, may be taken.
MRI may be used to check low
- Low Back Pain: Should I Have an MRI?
You may be able to have an MRI with an open machine that doesn't enclose your entire body. But open MRI machines aren't available everywhere. The pictures from an
open MRI may not be as good as those from a standard MRI machine .