Thank you for joining me again this evening for our nightly podcasts. I perform these podcasts in the hopes that you will be able to education yourself on the topics discussed so you can make better informed medical decisions regarding your health in the future. I am doctor Harrison Campbell of Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office. Previously we discussed the importance of moving while we heal so we have scar tissue which is strong and flexible. Tonight, we will be discussing MRIs and how they function.
Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI is the gold standard when it comes to imaging modalities. This advanced imaging technique allows sugar land chiropractors to view the soft tissue which are missed on standard X-ray imaging and help spot injuries which X-rays sometimes miss. To better understand MRIs wee will first look into how they work, how they produce the images doctors seek when needing advanced imaging.
Based on the name magnetic resonance imaging you can deduce that the MRI works due to magnets. You are correct. The machine uses powerful magnets to interact with the body and eventually capture an image. Unlike X-ray which shoot radiation through the patient and expose a film behind the patient, the MRI uses magnetic currents to manipulate the water in the body. Now this may be more chemistry than most people want to know, but water is formed when an oxygen molecule binds two hydrogen molecules. This is because oxygen had negative charge and the hydrogen have positive charges. Now sugar land chiropractors can tell you the MRI magnets interact with the hydrogen on the water molecules and cause them to vibrate or resonate. These vibrations are then picked up to create an image.
Now you have probably heard the statement that our bodies are seventy percent water. This is because the soft tissues in our body contain water which allows for the magnets of the MRI to interact with the anatomy we are trying to view. This also means that depending on the water concentration we will get brighter or darker spots to the image which sugar land chiropractors call these areas of high intensity or areas of low intensity.
This is important in helping view inflammation in tissues, tears in muscles or ligaments, and fractures in bones. Each injury the body undergoes produces inflammation. The quickest explanation of inflammation is to say its excess fluid in the body as a result of an injury. This excess fluid contains, you guessed water. The inflammation on an MRI will show up as bright white spots or areas of high intensity or signal. We can also spot tears in the tissue as we see gaps I the tissue when looking at the image. A common place for this to occur is when sugar land chiropractors view a knee MRI with patients and we are looking at the ACL or anterior cruciate ligament. A torn ACL is often viewed as a dark line of soft tissue which does not connect with the other half, clearly indicating a tear. Now in this example this is a complete tear of the MRI and there is more to look for when examining a knee on an MRI, but you get the picture.
Additionally the reason MRIs are so valuable is it provides a three dimensional image of the body and as we are three dimensional beings the value is pretty clear. The way an MRI does this is it takes several images or slices of the body in different planes, meaning from different angles. Put all of these slices together a you create a three dimensional image from several two dimensional images. This gives sugar land chiropractors a more dynamic and detailed view of the injured structure instead of the two dimensional view of an X-ray image.
Finally the benefits of the MRI include the use of magnets instead of radiation. As stated before X-rays shoot radiation at the patient to create an image. The thing about radiation is you do not control the direction it goes. This means the patient is exposed and potentially the technician performing the X-ray, depending on the setup for the X-ray unit. While not lethal doses, or anywhere close to lethal doses of radiation, we can avoid the exposure all together with MRIs.
Now this does not mean sugar land chiropractors will not perform X-rays. X-ray imaging is a valuable tool and cost effective option for care. MRIs do cost much more than X-rays so if we can obtain the information we need with an X-ray versus and MRI we will choose the best option for you, both health wise and cost wise. Typically, MRIs are not performed until four weeks into an injury. First this gives times for therapy and the healing process to start. This reduces inflammation and provides a clearer picture. Additionally, this will help reduce the cost by not performing a procedure on an injury which will be rehabilitated in a few weeks to great success.
Now there are exceptions to performing an MRI immediately, but that is situation dependent and not a standard practice. For example, a patient who is suffering sever neurological complaints after a traumatic injury can in some cases go straight to an MRI. Another example is sports injuries. Athletes often are needed by their teams and having the exact image of the injury will help the training staff do what is best for the athlete immediately and hopefully return them to the field of play as quickly as rehabilitation will allow.
Thank you for joining me again this evening for another great podcast. I hope you enjoyed the discussion on magnetic resonance imaging more commonly referred to as MRI. As always should you or someone you know require a sugar land chiropractors services or simply have more questions on what was discussed please call Restoration Health today. We would love to schedule you an appointment and get you on the path to better health today. Thank you once again for joining us. Have a good night.