Roseville California: When people come into our Roseville California clinic for treatment for sciatica pain or disc bulges and herniations. We always recommend getting MRI imaging that is current (within the last year). It always amazes me when someone comes in and tells me their doctor told them they have a bulging disc but has nevered order a MRI.
The problem with that is that no one can diagnose a disc bulge without either an MRI or CAT scan. So if your doctor told you that and did not have that kind of imaging to confirm it, find another doctor.
With spinal imaging, you the doctor can pinpoint the area and severity of your problem prior to any treatment to help determine what treatment is most appropriate. This also helps to determine if the patient has a disc problem and is a candidate for Spinal Decompression.
If you have any type of neck or back disorder and the doctor does not refer you for MRI imaging studies prior to beginning any type of treatment program, you need to ask if a MRI would be appropriate. The doctor may have already determined that your symptoms don’t suggest a disc injury. In that case appropriate conservative care, like chiropractic and massage would be prudent. But remember, without MRIs the doctor can never be sure about the degree of injury as to which spinal segment and disc to treat. Why? Is it a bulge or herniation? If a herniation, how severe? MRIs give the answer to these questions.
MRI and CT scans can also be used to better evaluate the “soft tissues” the histopathology, such as the nerves, discs and ligaments. When there is a disc herniation, X-rays may look completely normal, or they will show decreased disc space but not how bad the disc is. Whereas the MRI can show you the extent of disc