MRIs for sciatica, red flags, and alternatives

MRIs (or Magnetic Resonance Imaging) are useful for identifying certain medical conditions, but they’re not always accurate in identifying the source of sciatica pain.

Why this matters: Research has shown that people can have abnormal MRI results without pain and vice versa.

Therefore, unless there are medical red flags or unresolved pain for 12+ weeks, ordering an MRI scan is not the most efficient use of resources. Doctors typically recommend trying other procedures such as medications or physical therapy/chiropractic care before ordering an MRI.

A medical red flag is something that has happened since the onset of your pain which can include: nausea/vomiting, fever/sweats/chills, numbness in pelvic region, bowel/bladder changes, complete loss of function of one/multiple limbs, night sweats. 

Action steps:

If you have any of these red flags, communicate or seek out a medical professional for further follow up.

If you don’t have a medical red flag and are in pain, find a program that is designed to reduce your pain. The key to success is following through with the activities that bring you the most relief; also avoid or modify the activities that increase your pain; and seek out help if you can’t figure this out on your own (book a free strategy call here).

If you want to try to address your pain on your own, the Sciatica Protocol walks you through the process that 1000s of sciatica sufferers use for relief. The Sciatica Protocol offers a free 3 day trial and costs only $9.99 per week thereafter. Cancel anytime. You can check it out here.


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