Can A Physiotherapist Order An MRI?

Can A Physiotherapist Order An MRI?

When you have had an injury or are experiencing unexplained pain or decreased mobility, it can be pertinent to seek help. You might approach a range of health professionals dependent on your issue, and one of these people may be a physio. Your consultation will usually involve a full assessment and gaining an understanding of the history of the complaint before creating a personalised care plan.

Sometimes, scans can be useful prior to deciding on a course of action, or during treatment if the issue is not resolving. Which scan you undergo is determined by the cause or type of pain.

There are a variety of tests available that can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of certain issues. Some of these can be ordered by a physio, and some must be ordered by a medical professional such as a GP or specialist. Here we will discuss what an MRI is and who can refer you for one.

Physiotherapy And MRIs

Qualification and registration as a physio in Australia require university education and hands on experience. This results in physiotherapists being able to operate as first-contact practitioners, meaning you do not need a referral to visit us (unless you are making certain claims, such as Workers Compensation Insurance). We can undertake assessments, diagnose, identify when investigations or treatment is necessary, create a tailored care plan, and provide treatment.

It also means that we can refer you for certain relevant medical investigations such as an MRI.

What Does A Physiotherapy Do?

Physiotherapists identify issues related to bones, muscles, and soft tissues such as tendons and muscles. We then provide treatment using a wide variety of techniques and resources. This can involve methods such as:

  • Manual therapy.
  • Joint mobilisation.
  • Massage.
  • Dry needling.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Strapping and taping.
  • Provision of exercises and stretches.
  • Education related to your issue, such as posture improvement and undertaking activities correctly.

What Is An MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of medical imaging that employs computer-generated radio waves and a magnetic field. The magnetic field temporarily realigns the molecules of water within your body, which produces faint signals. The result is detailed, cross-sectional and/or 3D images of the targeted body part or region.

MRI machines usually consist of magnets that are large and tube-shaped. Having an MRI involves lying inside the machine and is a non-invasive, painless procedure (sometimes the IV administration of a contrast is required, but this will be discussed prior to the procedure).

A technician will talk to you, usually via a microphone from another room. They will guide you through what is happening. Some people may find the enclosed space and/or the loud noises uncomfortable, but the technician can provide support for this, and your doctor may prescribe a medication to relax you.

What Is An MRI?

Undertaking a comprehensive assessment can often be enough for physios to determine that cause of pain, swelling, or decreased functionality. However, there are situations in which the issue is more complex and requires more detailed information, which today’s technological advances can provide.

Different scanning methods can target different body parts. For example, an X-ray is useful for identifying damage to the bone but is not helpful in exploring issues with blood vessels. MRIs are the best scan type for analysing soft tissues, so physios often find them useful for the issues their patients present with.

MRIs are also used to investigate problems that may involve bones, joints, the brain, or the spinal cord. They can identify a variety of issues. Some of these that are relevant to conditions and injuries that a physio may be treating include:

  • Joint damage or abnormalities because of trauma.
  • Spinal disc abnormalities.
  • Torn ligaments or cartilage.
  • Bone fractures.

Powerhouse Physios Can Order MRIs

Our physiotherapists are highly trained and experienced in providing treatment for a wide range of injuries and conditions that can cause issues such as pain, inflammation, and reduced functionality. We are located in Canberra and regularly see patients in ActonBelconnenBraddonBruceDicksonFranklinLawsonLynehamMitchellNgunnawalO’connorPalmerston and Turner. We can provide a comprehensive assessment, using subjective and objective investigation of the issue, and then create a personalised treatment plan in order to improve the problem and help you to find relief and improved mobility.

This process may involve the use of scans, such as MRIs. If our physios deem this as a potentially beneficial step to take, we will provide the necessary paperwork and ask you to undergo an MRI for more detailed investigation.

Get in touch with Powerhouse Physio today to set up an initial consultation to find out if an MRI may be useful for your care.