MRI Back & Spine Scan

MRI Back & Spine Scan

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of the back and spine have revolutionized the field of diagnostic medicine by providing detailed, non-invasive images of the complex structures within the human body. These scans are invaluable tools for assessing a wide range of conditions affecting the spine, from herniated discs to tumours, and play a critical role in helping medical professionals make accurate diagnoses and treatment decisions.

Back & Spine MRI Scan - A Powerful Diagnostic Tool

One of the primary advantages of back and spine MRI scans is their ability to offer unparalleled clarity and precision in imaging. Unlike traditional X-rays, which use ionizing radiation, MRI scans rely on powerful magnets and radio waves to create images. This means that patients are not exposed to harmful radiation during the procedure, making it a safer option for repeated or long-term monitoring of spinal conditions.

Back and spine MRI scans are particularly useful for diagnosing herniated discs, a common spinal condition that can cause severe pain and discomfort. These scans can reveal the exact location and extent of the herniation, allowing healthcare providers to develop targeted treatment plans, which may include physical therapy, medication, or in some cases, surgery.

MRI Scanning FAQ

Do I need a GP referral?

No. You don’t need a GP’s permission to take steps to improve your health. We want you to feel better, faster, so you can get an MRI scan without speaking to a GP.

Can MRIs be a fast process?

Yes. As a private clinic, we have access to our own MRI machine and can organise an MRI appointment within days. However, the NHS waiting list for MRIs depends on the number of priority cases, so you could be waiting months. 

Do MRIs use radiation?

No. MRIs do not use ionizing radiation and are considered a non-invasive procedure. Instead, MRIs use a strong magnetic field and radio waves to take pictures. MRIs are safe for most people and have a reduced risk compared to X-Rays and CT scans which use harmful radiation.

Is going private worth it?

Certainly. With prices starting from as little as £325 and scanning technology vastly improving over the years, you can now get a scan and report for a very affordable price.

Are MRIs painless?

Yes. MRIs are painless procedures. You will have to lie still for an extended period, which can be slightly uncomfortable, but there is no pain.

The Full Body MRI

If you really want to know what’s going on in your body, you should consider a full-body MRI scan. This five-part scan covers the head, neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. It involves mapping the pathology of your body and can help diagnose and track genetic conditions and examine injury and trauma. 

A full-body MRI scan includes:

Head: Tumour, previous stroke, aneurysm, signs of dementia

Neck: Narrowing of carotid vessels (risk of stroke), thyroid, lymph nodes, spine

Chest: Lung cancer (sizable), Pleural Effusion, lymph nodes in the chest

Abdomen: Screening organs for cancer liver, tumours, gallstones, aortic health

Pelvis: Lymph nodes, reproductive organs, joints, and bowel

MRI Back & Spine Scan

MRI scans of the back and spine are essential in the evaluation of spinal stenosis. This condition involves the narrowing of the spinal canal, which can lead to nerve compression and chronic pain. By visualizing the extent of stenosis, MRI scans guide surgeons in planning decompressive procedures to relieve pressure on the affected nerves.

The versatility of back and spine MRI scans extends to the assessment of spinal infections. These scans can detect abnormalities in the soft tissues and bones of the spine caused by bacterial or fungal infections. Early detection is crucial in preventing the spread of infection and minimizing potential damage to the spinal cord.

Another critical application of back and spine MRI scans is in the diagnosis and monitoring of spinal tumors. These scans can distinguish between benign and malignant tumors, assess their size and location, and provide valuable information to oncologists for surgical planning or radiation therapy.

Patients with chronic back pain often undergo MRI scans to investigate the root causes of their discomfort. These scans can identify issues such as degenerative disc disease, facet joint arthritis, or spondylolisthesis, allowing healthcare providers to tailor treatment strategies to each patient’s specific needs.

Furthermore, MRI scans of the back and spine are highly beneficial for evaluating traumatic injuries. In cases of spinal trauma, such as fractures or dislocations, MRI scans help assess the extent of damage to the spinal cord, nerve roots, and surrounding tissues, aiding in early intervention and surgical planning.

For individuals with conditions like scoliosis, MRI scans play a vital role in monitoring disease progression. They provide detailed images of the spine’s curvature, helping orthopaedic specialists determine the best course of action, whether it be conservative management, bracing, or surgical correction.

In paediatric medicine, back and spine MRI scans are indispensable for diagnosing congenital abnormalities, such as tethered spinal cords or Chiari malformations. Detecting these conditions early in life is essential for preventing long-term complications and optimizing treatment outcomes.

Lastly, back and spine MRI scans are valuable tools for researching the effects of aging on the spine. They allow scientists and medical professionals to gain insights into age-related changes in spinal structures, contributing to a deeper understanding of musculoskeletal health and the development of strategies for healthy aging.

In conclusion, back and spine MRI scans are indispensable diagnostic tools that provide high-resolution images of the spine’s intricate anatomy. They are used to diagnose and monitor a wide range of spinal conditions, from herniated discs to tumours, and are crucial for tailoring treatment plans to individual patient needs. With their non-invasive nature and unparalleled detail, these scans have transformed the field of spinal medicine, improving patient outcomes and advancing our understanding of spinal health.

How It Works

Refer yourself for assessment

Are you eligible for a private MRI scan? Take the first step by submitting some basic information about your condition and lifestyle. Our trained experts will assess your responses and ensure that you meet the requirements. If you meet the criteria, we can book you for a scan within days. 

Go for your scan

Your condition will determine your exact type of MRI scan which will last between 25 minutes to one hour. MRI scans are painless but lying still can be uncomfortable. Our team will be on hand throughout the appointment to ensure you are safe and comfortable.


Get your imaging and report

Your images will be reported within 48 hours or sooner. To explain your results and ensure you fully understand your condition, we can either send your report to your GP or you can speak to one of our team in a follow-up consultation.

Book in the right course of treatment

The next step is to choose the best treatment plan for you. You can speak to your GP or doctor or work with our in-house team to book in any follow-up treatments and get started on the road to recovery.

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Submit an enquiry

Complete this form if you have specific questions to ask about our MRI service