Magnetic Resonance Imaging Lower Back Scan.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the lower back or the lumbar spine may be ordered by your healthcare provider in order to diagnose evaluation causes of back pain, as well as pain (“sciatica”), weakness, or numbness in the leg/s.

MRI of the Lower Back.

Compared to other diagnostic imaging tests, lower back MRI has several advantages for evaluating symptoms in the lumbar spine. An MRI does not use radiation, instead manipulates the magnetic properties of water within normal living tissue and can reliably differentiate between fat, muscles, ligaments, discs, nerves, joints, bones and other soft tissues with greater clarity.

Your physician may recommend a lumbar spine or lower back MRI so as to evaluate the cause of your symptoms, such as severe pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the back and/or leg. Most cases are due to degeneration of the spine, as well as trauma and developmental issues, however rarely may an underlying serious condition may be the cause, such as tumours, bleeding and infection. Other symptoms that may require you to undergo an MRI scan include:

  • difficulty in passing and controlling urine or stools
  • difficulty in walking or balance issues
  • history of cancer

An MRI scan can detect problems of the lower back that affect the bones, soft tissue, nerves, and disks and help diagnose tumours, bleeding, swelling, abnormalities, or inflammatory conditions in the bones or the surrounding tissue.

MRI Does Not Use Radiation