MRI before spinal injections – no benefit

Category: Back Pain, Blog

Research in the Archives of Internal Medicine says getting an MRI before spinal injection does not offer better outcomes.

At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we rarely if ever rely on an MRI. In our opinion these tests are a waste of money. A new patient will typically come in with a large stack of films and scans that cost them a lot of money out-of-pocket, and usually, there will be no useful information that will help us get the patient pain free. A skilled physician can make a more accurate determination of with a careful physical examination and history.

Here is what the researchers noted when they examined whether MRI were of any value before offering epidural injections.

“Studies have shown that radiologic imaging does not improve outcomes in most patients with back pain, though guidelines endorse it before epidural steroid injections (ESIs). The objective of this study was to determine whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) improves outcomes or affects decision making in patients with lumbosacral radiculopathy referred for ESI…conclusion: Magnetic resonance imaging does not improve outcomes in patients who are clinical candidates for ESI and has only a minor effect on decision making.” (1)

In our practice we also avoid pain medication usage and we help patients avoid surgery. Even patients who have tried chiropractic, epidural steroids, nerve blocks and even surgery with less than hoped for results, can be cured by Prolotherapy and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments.

Read more about Prolotherapy for sciatica and lower back pain

For more discussion on Epidural Steroid injections on

1. Cohen SP, et al. Radiculopathy Referred for Epidural Steroid Injections, A Multicenter, Randomized Controlled Trial. Arch Intern Med. Published online December 12, 2011. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.593