Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Definition, Risks, Preparation, During and Post Procedure, and When to Seek Medical Care

What is an MRI?

MRI is short for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a common medical procedure used by hospitals and medical personnel all over the world. Furthermore, a Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI is a test that utilizes magnetic fields as well as pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of different structures inside our body such as bones, soft tissues, organs, etc. In comparison with other medical imaging procedures such as CT scan, X-ray, and Ultrasound, an MRI gives a much more detailed image of the structures inside your body and is able to show problems that cannot otherwise be seen in the aforementioned imaging tests.

What are Some of the Risks associated with Magnetic Resonance Imaging?

Although the magnet in an MRI is very powerful, there are really no known risks or harmful effects associated with undergoing one. But beware of metal parts in your body as the magnetic field used in an MRI is very strong. Metal implants you should be wary of are pacemakers, artificial limbs, and various implants that contain iron.

Any metal parts that are in your eye can cause retina damage, as well as iron pigments that can be found in one’s tattoo including tattooed eyeliners, can cause skin and even eye irritation. An MRI scan may also cause a burn where medicine patches are located.

To avoid these risks, be sure to tell your attending physician or MRI operator of any of these factors you are aware of before undergoing the scan, or better yet, take an x-ray of the various parts of your body where you suspect traces of metal can be found.

What are the Necessary Preparations for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan?

You should primarily prepare yourself for an MRI scan by telling your doctor or attending physician if you are experiencing any one of these conditions:

  • If you are pregnant.
  • If you are allergic to any medicines that are used as a contrast material for the MRI.
  • If you have any kind of metal implant in your body, such as:

A pacemaker, metal heart valve, coronary artery stent and ICD or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator

Metal parts, artificial limbs, pins and clips in your body

Cochlear implants and medicine infusion pumps

Cosmetic implants

  • If you have any IUD or intrauterine devices in your body
  • If you become claustrophobic or nervous in tightly confined spaces, as you will need to lie very still inside an MRI for a long period of time.
  • Have had any recent surgery on any blood vessel in your body.

What goes on behind a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan?

During the procedure, you may notice that the physician doesn’t naturally conduct the MRI scan. Usually, a magnetic resonance imaging test is done by a registered MRI technologist. The results are then interpreted by another medical professional, namely a radiologist, although other doctors can usually identify and interpret the results of an MRI scan.

What happens during the actual procedure is that you are made to lie on your back on a table. This table is naturally a part of the MRI Scanner, and then your head, chest, and arms will be held by straps that are also part of the scanner to help keep you still. The table will then slide into place, into a space that contains the powerful magnet. A device called a coil will then be held in place over the specific area that needs to be scanned.

During this procedure, the MRI technologist will sometimes put a special belt strap that can be used to monitor your breathing and heartbeat, so that the machine will be able to take the scan at the right time.

Once inside the scanner, you will feel air moving and will correspondingly hear a fan whirring. Tapping and snapping noises may also be present as the scans are being taken. The MRI Technologist may provide you with earplugs or headphones to help distract you from the noise.

You should be completely still while the procedure is being done and scans are being taken in order to get an accurate scan of your body. You will sometimes be asked to hold your breath, but only for short periods of time.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: When to Seek Medical Care

A radiologist may take at least 1 to 2 days to completely analyze the results, but he/she can discuss some of the initial results with you right after the test. Here are some indications that you need to seek medical care based on your MRI Scan Results:

  1. When abnormal growths, especially in the form of tumors are present
  2. When a blood vessel is blocked or narrowed.
  3. When an organ shows up too large, too small, or damaged, and worse, absent from the scan.
  4. When there is an abnormal fluid indicating bleeding or infection, especially in the lungs, heart, liver or bowel.
  5. When there is visible damage to any of your bones, joints, ligaments, and cartilage.
  6. When there are problems in your nervous system that may indicate dementia, a herniated disc in your spine, multiple sclerosis, and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers