Physical therapists and podiatrists can refer you for many types of medical research, including x-rays, CT scans, bone scans, and MRI scans. From a legal point of view, yes, you can order and interpret MRI scans. To answer the question in this post. Yes, images help physical therapists and sports therapists in many cases.
However, with chronic conditions in particular, the therapist and client should understand that any finding from any scan is not absolute. Scans should be used to discard anything that is obviously wrong. The bones broke in two, things were bad. Physical therapists can refer you for many medical investigations, including x-rays, ultrasounds, and MRI scans.
The different referral rights depend on whether your referrer is a general practitioner, a specialist doctor or a physical therapist. Most of the time, your physical therapist will be able to fully evaluate and diagnose physical injuries in this way, without the need for X-ray images. When you see a physical therapist with an injury, they will provide you with a complete subjective (questioning) and objective evaluation (observing the injury and feeling its movements, etc.). The problem with this is that once a diagnosis of a disc protrusion has been made clinically, an MRI will not change the diagnosis or physiotherapeutic treatment of that condition.
I often get calls from patients who tell me they are delaying physical therapy treatment until they have the MRI results; however, the scan usually does not influence the treatment provided for low back pain. In the field of physical therapy where they are particularly useful is when you have just had a mischief. A physical therapist will be able to evaluate your problem or injury and know if further treatment or research is required, in addition to the management that a physical therapist can provide, such as seeing a doctor, specialist, or if diagnostic imaging is required. In most cases, identifying a serious disc injury or other worrisome spinal conditions is most accurately done by a clinical evaluation by a physical therapist or chiropractor specializing in back pain.
There are many factors that influence whether your physical therapist will send you for any type of medical imaging or whether they will refer you to a doctor who can do the same. In most cases of low back pain, MRI scans, and especially X-rays, don't help treat low back pain. If symptoms persist despite treatment, it is advisable to consult your physical therapist or doctor again for further evaluation. Having gone to several physical therapists over the years, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the approach taken was more holistic in nature and that it went beyond what I had experienced in treatments before.
However, the clinical evaluation of your physical therapist is the best guide to what course of action should be taken. Sports therapist Jamie Webb seeks the best balance between traditional physical therapy techniques and a more holistic approach to mind and body. This fact is key to understanding the confusion that arises when interpreting MRI results. Equipped to help you achieve a quick and successful recovery, whether it's a sports injury, neck or back pain, or general pain, Total Physiotherapy Coogee can help.