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Should I get a back MRI if I have had low back pain for less than 6 weeks without fever, weight loss, personal history of cancer, or inability to control my bowel or bladder movements?


MedHead Confidence Score: 4
Amount Saved: $885 average cost of MRI without contrast post


MedHead Message:

A lot of people have low back pain. A LOT. About 85% of low back pain resolves within six weeks on it’s own without any treatment. Unless you have having red flag symptoms (unintentional weight loss, fever with the back pain, sudden loss of ability to control bowel or bladder, history of cancer, or sudden loss of ability to move your feet or legs) no MRI is warranted. Instead, light activity, warm, moist heat, anti-inflammatory medications, and some physical therapy or manual adjustments are warranted.


1. http://www.choosingwisely.org/clinician-lists/aca-spinal-imaging-for-acute-low-back-pain/ 2. https://www.mdsave.com/f/procedure/mri-without-contrast/75033?q=MRI+without+Contrast&type=procedure


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