According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), low back pain is one of the most common reasons for outpatient visits to hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare facilities.
Medical professionals perform lumbar MRIs for a variety of reasons. If someone is experiencing pain in their lower back, a doctor may recommend a lumbar MRI scan to help diagnose the source of the pain.
The reasons a doctor will recommend an MRI is to investigate:
- Lower back pain: This can result from muscle strain, joint damage, or other reasons.
- Sciatica: This causes acute pain and results from irritation to a nerve root, possibly due to inflammation or structural changes.
- Claudication: This can lead to mobility problems and dull pain or aching in the lower limbs. Claudication can be vascular, affecting the blood vessels, or neurogenic, involving the nerves.
When lumbar MRI Needed
A doctor may also order a lumbar MRI for an individual who is about to undergo back surgery. In this case, the surgical team uses the results of the lumbar MRI to help plan the operation.
A lumbar MRI is a powerful diagnostic tool that doctors may use to:
- check spinal alignment
- detect abnormalities of vertebrae or the spinal cord
- check for a lumbar disk herniation, which can lead to leg pain
- evaluate any inflammation of the spinal cord or nerves
- check for tumors on or around the spinal cord
- monitor damage to the spine after an injury
- monitor the spine after an operation
- explore different causes of back pain
Why delaying a lumbar MRI?
A doctor will not usually carry out a lumbar MRI during the first 6 weeks that a person experiences pain unless the person has:
- sudden back pain that occurs alongside fever
- injury or trauma
- sudden back pain with spinal tenderness, possibly linked to cancer, osteoporosis, or steroid use
- bowel or bladder incontinence
- a serious underlying condition, such as cancer
The reason for delaying a lumbar MRI is that most cases of back pain resolve within a few weeks, according to the AAFP. A herniated disk will usually reabsorb within 8 weeks. Carrying out a lumbar MRI too early could lead to unnecessary costs and anxiety.
What our patients say
Honestly, this service saved my life. After repeatedly being told for years I was too young for an MRI or to have a serious back injury. All the doctors told me how using this service was the best thing I ever did. Such a fast efficient and useful service honestly the best 300 dollars I ever spent. Would recommend this service to anyone over and over again.
Top-class service. Quick and efficient, excellent communication from the staff at the center and the Dr. Put all the family at ease regarding the procedure. Caring and compassionate. The procedure and results were clearly explained and scan results were received quickly.
Fast and professional. I can’t say anything negative at all. The staff who I spoke to over the phone or wrote to by email were very knowledgeable and pleasant, the scanning center I was referred to for my neck and head MRI was also cheerful, helpful, and professional.
I felt I needed an MRI quickly. This was a very quick route to getting one. I had a very good conversation on the phone with a doctor both before and after the scan. So if you need an MRI quickly and in a streamlined way, this is a good option.
I would give you 20 stars if there were that many. Fantastic service I only wish that you had been around when a close friend of mine got ill. I am certain that if Diversity MRI had been around then it might have saved his life. Love their tag line "An MRI can help save lives"
I have used Diversity MRI on several occasions over the last couple of years, both for family members and to monitor my own long-term condition and I can honestly say that the team is truly wonderful in every respect! I strongly recommend Diversity MRI to anyone who wants to deal with excellent professionals who genuinely care and are clearly motivated to enable people to feel empowered in managing their own health care.
After being referred to the clinic I was happy with the service that I received. The appointment came through quickly. They were very welcoming and friendly and made me feel comfortable. I strongly recommend Diversity MRI to anyone who wants to deal with excellent professionals who genuinely care and are clearly motivated to enable people to feel empowered in managing their own health care.
Wanted to have a quick MRI scan on my knee following a bad fall. Very straightforward and simple booking and scanning process for a competitive price. Results were provided pretty quickly afterward by phone and download. Overall very happy with this service.
Couldn’t be more pleased with the service I received for Diversity MRI! Was seen at a convenient time and my results were super fast! I’ve had an MRI elsewhere previously but this was a much better experience and also less expensive! Would recommend it to anyone!