Dr. Eric Broadworth discusses when to get an MRI, x-ray or CT scan. Many times this is not necessary and extremely costly. Getting physical therapy first can help you avoid surgery and unnecessary imaging.
When should I get an x-ray?
X-rays are good at identifying bony changes including fractures, arthritis, bone cancer and other diseases or disorders that may cause bony changes.
When should I get an MRI?
MRIs can cost up to $1,500 and may be unnecessary in the treatment of different diagnoses including chronic low back pain and shoulder pain. It may be necessary if you had a traumatic incidence related to your pain to determine the severity of damage. If you have exhausted conservative measures for chronic pain an MRI may be necessary for diagnosing the condition and determining further treatment.