What is an MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging


Our patient Stella had persistent back pain. When she came to us, she’d been to several other medical practitioners and x-rays were performed, treatment was done, and she even had evaluation by a Neurologist, but nothing had helped.

Dr. Rush performed a thorough examination and ordered X-rays. The examination showed some red flags, and the X-rays came back normal, however Dr. Rush was not satisfied with the negative findings of the x-rays.

But Stella’s back pain persisted. So, Dr. Rush ordered an MRI.

And it was a good thing he did.

The MRI revealed a spinal tumor that had gone undetected before by both of the prior practitioners. Stella was able to get treatment for her tumor in time and is in good health today.


Why Your Chiropractor Might Order An MRI

“MRI” stands for “Magnetic Resonance Imaging.” An MRI scanner uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to generate detailed pictures of internal organs and structures, including soft tissues – areas that an X-ray may miss.

Chiropractors typically order an MRI to find a source for pain that doesn’t show up on X-rays or in a physical exam.

Some things your chiropractor may be looking for when ordering an MRI include:

Spinal Tumors

Spinal tumors are fairly rare and can produce a diffuse but persistent pain that’s easily misdiagnosed. Your chiropractor may order an MRI if they suspect one.

Tiny Fractures

Conditions such as osteoporosis and certain injuries can produce tiny hairline fractures that are undetectable in other types of exams. These can be the source of significant pain, and can also lead to larger injuries if left untreated.


A subluxation is a misalignment of the spinal vertebrae that may put pressure to a disc or a nerve. These often occur as a result of car accidents and sports injuries.

An MRI can not only identify a subluxation, but also reveal surrounding damage to nerves, soft tissues, and musculoskeletal structures that can be treated via chiropractic care. (X-rays are the primary test for detecting subluxations).

Spinal Degeneration and Herniated Discs

The internal structures of the spine can degenerate with age. With spinal degeneration, spinal discs that cushion the space between vertebrae can dry out and shrink, resulting in diminished cushioning between vertebrae.

This can cause chronic pain and make the discs more prone to slipping out of place – pinching surrounding nerves and resulting in pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness throughout the extremities.

MRI imaging is subtle enough to detect even microscopic degenerations that can cause chronic pain and make you prone to injury.

Spinal Stenosis

The spinal column provides a protected passage for nerves to travel from the brain to the rest of your body. Sometimes that passageway narrows, compressing the nerves and causing a cascade of symptoms – including pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in your hands, feet, and other areas of your body.

If you experience these symptoms even after spinal manipulation or your chiropractor does not detect a misalignment in your spine that could explain such symptoms, an MRI may be ordered.


Experiencing Unexplained Numbness or Pain? A Chiropractor Can Help

Many of our clients come to us with pain, tingling, numbness, and other symptoms that have not been resolved by other treatments – even after multiple visits to other providers.

Dr. Rush has extensive experience getting to the root of unexplained chronic pain – and an MRI is just one in an arsenal of valuable tools.

Give us a call at 954-432-5006 to schedule your consultation today.

In Pain?

We Can Help!