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What is an MRI?

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MRI imaging is a standard tool in physical therapy. Numerous physical therapists use MRI imaging to diagnose conditions and examine injured or irritated bones, tissues, joints, and other body parts. Physical therapists use MRI imaging only in certain situations. Decreased understanding of MRI leaves many patients wondering when it is appropriate.

Scottsdale Physical Therapy & Performance has put together a guide to help you understand MRI imaging and when it is necessary to treat medical conditions.

ScottsdalePhysical Therapy & Performance “why” is improving the quality of their clients’ lives. Our team helps people overcome injuries and ailments through highly skilled physical therapy and advanced technology. Our team is more than qualified to help you on your way back to activity. Our team will restore your energy to live a whole, pain-free life.

What is MRI?

MRI imaging allows physical therapists to take detailed images of your body’s internal structure. Medical experts can use MRI imaging to analyze a patient’s bones, tissues, and muscles to understand their condition better. Physical therapists and sports medicine professionals also use MRI imaging to rule out possible causes of pain or discomfort.

Physical therapists do not use MRI imaging to diagnose or treat every condition or injury. Instead, they treat most patients without needing to run diagnostic tests through the information they gather from comprehensive evaluations. 

MRI imaging does not affect the therapists’ prescribed exercises or treatment plans. Instead, it is a tool that medical professionals use to understand better the specific problems affecting patients.

MRI imaging can also help to identify medical conditions and injuries in asymptomatic patients. These people are not experiencing symptoms but have a condition (such as spondylolysis). MRI imaging scans can reveal if patients have an injury or a physical condition they don’t know about. 

When is MRI necessary?

Many physical therapists use MRI imaging to help patients whose recovery is stalled or regressed. To determine how the problem affects the area, they examine the surrounding and affected areas. Physical therapists can use an MRI to diagnose the problem and determine how to treat it quickly.

Physical therapists also use MRI imaging to confirm a diagnosis that may need surgery. They examine the patient’s MRI images and medical history to determine if surgery may be an option.

What are some injuries and conditions MRI can help uncover?

MRI imaging can detect multiple injuries and conditions in asymptomatic patients. These include herniated discs or tissue inflammation. Here are some common problems that MRI imaging can help uncover.

* Spinal stenosis 

* Arthritis 

* Disc herniations 

* Hip and shoulder labrum tears 

* Rotator Cuff Tenon Tears 

* Meniscus tears 

* Inflammation 

* Tendonitis

MRI imaging is a tool physical therapists use to diagnose and treat injuries and conditions in patients of all ages. It is important to remember that everyone needs different treatment, even if they have the same injury or condition. For example, two people may require more intensive physical therapy sessions if they have the same spinal injury. Physical therapists examine the following to determine the best treatment plan for a patient:

* Subjective History

* Physical presentation 

* Location of injury 

* Quality of injury 

* Intensity of symptoms 

* Aggravating movements/factors

* Your medical history 

* Physical activity 

* The healing stage for the patient 

* Patient’s personal goals

* Comprehensive movement screen (passive and active range of motion, strength assessment, functional movements, dermatomes, myotomes, nerve tension tests, endurance test, palpation, and joint assessments) 

As mentioned before, MRI imaging can only aid physical therapists in understanding a patient’s condition or injury. They can’t prescribe treatment or determine the best course of action.

Most physical therapists can examine and treat patients without needing MRI imaging. Not needing an MRI saves the client both time and money. They will work with you to determine the best treatment for your injury or condition. While MRI imaging may be necessary in some cases, most patients will not need it.

For First-Class physical therapy in Scottsdale, contact Scottsdale Physical Therapy & Performance

Scottsdale Physical Therapy & Performance can provide physical therapy in Scottsdale. Our team will quickly help you get over your injury or ailment to continue enjoying your favorite activities without any pain or discomfort. Our team will always put your needs first and go the extra mile to ensure you live a pain-free lifestyle.
Scottsdale Physical Therapy & Performance can help you whether you are recovering from a spinal injury or need running therapy.
Contact Scottsdale Physical Therapy & Performance today to make the first steps towards a more active, pain-free lifestyle.

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Dr. Tyler is a physical therapist and founder Scottsdale Physical Therapy & Performance in North Scottsdale, Arizona. He see golfers, athletes and active adults. His focus is offering one-on-one sessions for 1 hour focused on developing individualized programs to get you back to your goals.

If you have any questions about online programing or want to stop in for a visit, please reach out by hitting “request appointment” in the top of the page.

– Dr. Tyler PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, TPI-2

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