Pain in the spine occurs in the vast majority of people. According to statistics, 9 out of 10 people have experienced pain in this area at least once. To identify the causes of pain, special examinations are performed. Diagnostics such as MRI or CT are most often used, as they provide the most accurate picture. It is especially important to resort to such methods of examination in case of injury.

 Why choose 3D diagnostics?

There may be microcracks or injuries in the spine that can lead to pinching or damage to the soft tissues or, as a result of prolonged inactivity, they can lead to serious injuries. Conventional studies, even invasive ones, do not reveal this as accurately as X-rays. And x-rays, in turn, provide a fairly one-sided picture. To obtain a three-dimensional image and the possibility of a comprehensive examination of the spine, it is worth resorting to MRI or CT.

 Similarity of action

Even devices for MRI and CT diagnostics are similar. As well as the survey itself. The patient is placed on a mobile couch that enters the ring with sensors. The patient is asked to lie still and start the mechanism. Rings with sensors scan the desired area and transmit a three-dimensional image to a computer.

Differences in MRI and CT

In addition to the method of conducting the survey and obtaining a three-dimensional image, there are no similarities. What are their differences? CT – computed tomography. Research is done using x-rays. Usually the procedure itself is relatively quick – from a few minutes to half an hour (if contrast is applied). At a price it is predominantly cheaper than MRI. When a CT scan of the spine is prescribed:
  1. • Injury (or suspicion of injury) to the sacrum;
  2. • Injury (or suspicion of injury) of the arches of the vertebral bodies;
  3. • Injury (or suspicion of injury) of the arches of the vertebral bodies;
  4. • The need to determine the degree of disease (osteoporosis);
  5. • Evaluation of the correctness of bone tissue fusion after injuries and surgical intervention (fixation of metal structures if they were installed);
  6. • Neoplasms on bone tissue.
Contraindications and limitations for CT scan:
  1. • Patient weight more than 200 kg;
  2. • Pregnancy;
  3. • Lactation period;
  4. • Age up to 14 years;
  5. • Diabetes;
  6. • Diseases of the pancreas.
CT is uninformative in the study of intervertebral hernias in the chest and neck, as well as bone marrow. MRI – magnetic resonance imaging. In this method, the main method of exposure is electromagnetic waves. The duration of this procedure is longer than CT, and the cost is higher. When spinal MRI is prescribed:
  1. • Inflammatory diseases;
  2. • Vascular disease or suspicion of it;
  3. • Anomalies of the spinal cord;
  4. • Suspicion of a tumor;
  5. • Degenerative-dystrophic diseases (the most common osteochondrosis)
  6. • Traumatic injuries of the spine;
  7. • Observation of the behavior of tumors or the focus of neoplasms.

Contraindications and limitations for MRI:

  1. • The presence in the body of metal structures (pins, plates, clamps for blood vessels, etc.);
  2. • pacemaker;
  3. • implants;
  4. • Neurological diseases that do not allow to remain motionless for a long time (it is necessary to conduct an examination with sedation).
MRI is often used to examine soft tissues or if a tumor is suspected. But it can be done even by pregnant women (in the first trimester, it is advisable to abstain). The couch is quite comfortable, but with a long stationary position, pain may occur in the spine. The choice of diagnostic method depends on the problem itself, as well as on belonging to any of the risk areas. The difference in time of the procedure (CT scan is faster), pricing policy (MRI is more expensive), as well as the specifics of the focus of the necessary examination. In fact, both options give a three-dimensional image and provide mainly enough information to make a verdict – a diagnosis or its absence.