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All You Need To Know About The MRI Exam

Patients with complicated issues are often sent for MRI exams. This article provides in-depth information on MRI examination procedures, benefits & Side Effects. MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is the gold standard in assessments of spine and joint disorders. Often, it is the first step in assessing the actual cause of an illness.

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Understanding More About An MRI Test & Exam

Dr Yama Assessing MRI images of a Patient in Kuala Lumpur

There are times when our chiropractors may order something called an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) for an accurate assessment of your condition. MRI uses radio waves and a magnetic field for diagnostic imaging of the part being assessed. This exam type allows our clinical teams to peek inside in a much different manner than the traditional x-ray film, a CT scan, or an ultrasound. If you are in pain and need to find the cause, contact our center. Chiropractic Specialty Center® has the best clinical chiropractors in town. Visit us today to determine the actual cause of your back pain (lumbago), neck pain (cervical spondylosis).

Why Would You Need A Magnetic Resonance Imaging Exam?

The diagnosis is the most difficult and challenging component of in-patient care. An accurate diagnosis of your condition is critical to successful clinical outcomes. Unfortunately, many patients are hastily diagnosed and then treated without diagnostic imaging. Well, that will not happen at the Chiropractic Specialty Center®.

We at CSC, take pride in our ability to accurately diagnosis the root cause of a patient’s disorder before initiating care. We will not take shortcuts or “wing it” when it comes to your care. As such, we may need to refer you for MRI or x-ray tests to understand and document the root causes of your condition.

Our clinical teams provide the most comprehensive spine and joint treatments in Malaysia. The care you get from us is targeted and painless. But, before we start your physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment, we may need an MRI. Our clinical teams will inform you if an MRI is needed.

MRI imaging can provide excellent imaging of soft tissues such as ligaments, cartilage, spinal discs, muscles, bursae, and tendons. It is ideal for adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder patients. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging exam is the gold standard in the assessment of a herniated disc (slip-disc), knee pain, hip pain, shoulder injuries as well as headaches and migraines, Schmorl’s nodes, Tarlov cyst.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging produces detailed, cross-sectional images of the predetermined region in a three-dimensional perspective (coronal plane, sagittal plane, axial plane). The physics behind magnetic resonance imaging uses high magnetic fields with very sophisticated computer programing to extract images.

Are There Different Types Of MR Imaging Scanners?

various MRI types, standing, open, seated and closed MRI

There are two distinct types of MRI scanners: weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing scanners. The weight-bearing magnetic resonance imaging scanners are relatively new. The weight-bearing MRI scanner advantage enables a better assessment of the spine and joints in a weight-bearing position, in either a seated or standing position.

The seated or standing exams (weight-bearing) enables a better understanding of the spine and joint disorders. Unfortunately, no one in Malaysia has a weight-bearing MRI scanner. Therefore, we will focus our topic of discussion on the non-weight-bearing Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanners.

There are two main types of non-weight bearing exam scanners: open-sided MRI scanners and closed scanners. The open-sided scanner is best suited for larger patients and for those who have claustrophobia. However, the image quality of an open MRI is not as sharp as that of a closed MRI scanner. Therefore, regardless of the type (closed or open), you will be required to lie down in a supine position (on your back or in the face-up position). Magnetic resonance technicians will help you during this process. Once you have been comfortably positioned, the technician slides the MRI bed slowly into the scanner.

Here Is What To Do When Preparing For Diagnostic Imaging

A technologist who specializes in conducting the exam will usually be the one who does everything. If you come to the exam area with any wearable metal objects, you must remove them. Watches, hairpins, jewelry, hearing aids, dentures, and anything else with metal will have to be removed. The test uses a powerful magnet, and it’s dangerous to have any metal in the machine while the test is being done.

If you have any implants (metallic implants) in your body, whether it’s a stent or anything else, you’ll have to tell our doctor of chiropractic at the time of your exam. If you have a pacemaker or defibrillator, or even a heart valve, it’ll be necessary to make us aware of these things. If you have a bone that has a metal pin in it or even dental work or braces, these are things that you need to mention to the radiology center or hospital where you get your Magnetic Resonance Imaging done and to us.

Some people can get very nervous if they are shut inside a very confined space. Having an MRI will require that you lie very still while the test is being done. It’s necessary to take some medicine for them to relax enough to have this exam completed. In some locations, an open MRI is available, and if so, it might be a consideration.

What To Expect Before & During Magnetic Resonance Imaging Test?

You will almost certainly be required to sign a consent form at the hospital where we have referred you, saying that you understand any risk involved when taking the test and agree to have it done.

When you are inside, you will hear a fan moving, and you will feel the air. In some cases, you could hear a snapping noise as the MRI images are taken. Music is played to reduce those problems in some situations, or they may give earplugs before you entered the MRI machine. In addition, there are times when the technician may ask you to hold your breath for a short time while an image is taken.

When the test is being taken, you may feel as though you’re alone, but the technologist is watching you the whole time through a window. You’ll be able to speak to the technologist via an intercom system. Whenever a contrast material is used, it will be administered through an intravenous line in your arm. It is standard practice for the contrast material to be delivered over a one- or two-minute period. An MRI typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes, but it will take as much as two hours to complete in some cases.

What Does It Feel Like To Take An MRI Scan?

There’s no pain associated with either the radio waves or the magnets used during the test. You will be lying on your back on a hard table, and you’ll be asked to stay still for extended periods. It may be uncomfortable, but it is not painful. You may feel cold in some cases, and you will likely get tired of lying on your back for an extended period.

People with metal fillings in their teeth may experience a slight tingling in their mouths. If you experience dizziness, vomiting, a burning sensation, breathing issues, or a headache, you must bring this to the technician’s attention.

Is Radiation Or Other Harmful Effects Associated With MRI Tests?

infographic on side effects of MRi VS ultrasound, x-ray & CT scans

Unlike other forms of diagnostic imaging, MRIs do not emit any radiation. To date, MRI assessments are considered safe. There are no known side effects or harm when it comes to MRI examinations. However, the strong magnetic field generated by MRI imaging will interfere with metallic implants such as pacemakers, metal clips, or metallic prostheses, so make sure to inform your doctor and the MR Imaging technician if you have any metallic densities in your body.

Welders and factory workers who are exposed to fine metal shavings should not undergo MRI assessments. Factory workers and welders may have fine metal shaving in tissues or eyes. Often, x-rays of suspected areas infected with metal shaving are performed before the MRI exam. Therefore, we urge you to thoroughly communicate your prior history with your clinician and MRI technician before initiating the scan. Failure to do so may be dangerous to the patient.

An MRI assessment is perfectly safe with compliance with safeguards and proper protocols. However, the effects of the magnetic field generated in MRI assessments are not well understood. Further research is needed to understand the harmful effects of magnetic fields generated during MRI assessments. Nevertheless, MRI exams are considerably safer than x-rays or bone scans. As such, we deem the Magnetic Resonance Imaging examination of the spine and joint conditions to be the gold standard in diagnostic imaging.

Should You Worry About The Magnetic Fields?

infograhpic on magnetic field of mri scanner

Some people worry about the strong magnetic fields used when administering an MRI, but there are no known ill effects from them. However, if it’s found that you have any metal fragments in your eyes, they will not do MR imaging. In addition, there are sometimes iron pigments in tattooed eyeliner, and these can become irritated when having this type of exam.

There is a very slight risk of an allergic reaction, but even those are usually very mild. If you have a young baby and are breastfeeding and concerned about the dye used during the test, you should consult us beforehand. If it’s a concern, you should use a breast pump before the test to have a couple of days’ worth of milk on hand, and after that time, the dye will have left the body.

I hope you all have understood what you need to know about the MRI exam. If you need more information or think you have a problem that needs an MRI assessment; Call CSC today if you need assistance finding the best center for the best MRI center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Samuel Pegram

    Magnetic Resonance Image is so much advantageous. It is one of the best innovations in the entire history of the medical industry. Additionally, its radio waves and magnetic scan magnetic control are not at all hazardous to a patient’s body cells. Moreover, its scanned outcome gives you a more deep and flawless image as every patient wants.

    1. CSC Clinical Team

      Dear Dr. Pegram,

      Thank you for posting your comments. We appreciate insightful comments from clinical professionals of your caliber.

  2. suezety


    Can I know which hospital in kl that provides open mri? I want to do mri but I can’t because of obesity. Also, can I know how much it will cost me? Thank you for your help.

    1. CSC Clinical Team

      Dear Suezety,
      MRI assessments need a referral. Hospitals don’t entertain walk-ins for MRI. You will need a referral and an appointment for this procedure. We can help do both for you. But first, please call our center at 03 2093 1000 for an assessment to see if an MRI is needed in the first place. KLSMC and Lourdes Medical Center both have open-sided MRI. Call us to find out which is best suited for your specific condition.

      1. suezety

        Hi there

        Yes, I know MRI needs a referral. Actually, I need MRI scans for my knee and back pain, but unfortunately.
        MRI machine at Hospital Pantai Ampang cannot fit my body size. So they only do Xray. I will call the number given for further discussion. Tq for your help

        1. CSC Clinical Team

          Our pleasure to have helped.


    How much do MRIs cost? I need to do for my long st of adding back pain resulting from a fall.

    1. CSC Clinical Team

      Dear Salman,
      We do not perform MRI examinations at our center. However, we refer patients in need of MRI to one of the many hospitals in the Klang Valley. The costs for an MRI exam vary from hospital to hospital. Some charge over RM1,000, while a select few are slightly below the RM1,000 mark. First, I encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors of chiropractic to see if there is a need for MRI. Please call our main center at 03 2093 1000. We have several locations throughout the Klang Valley to assess your spine.

      I hope this helped.

      CSC Clinical Team

  4. Abd Malek


    Can I know which hospital in KL has an open MRI? Also, can I know how much it will cost me? Thank you for your help.

    1. Dr. Yama Zafer, D.C.

      Dear Mr. Malek,

      KLSMC has an open MRI; the cost may be about RM 950, but not sure. You will need to have a referral for the MRI as you will not be able to walk in and demand one. Therefore, I encourage you to visit our center in Damansara Heights for a detailed assessment of your condition to see if an MRI is needed. If MRI is required, we will be more than happy to set an appointment for you. You can contact us on 03 2093 1000 or WhatsApp us. I hope this helps.

  5. Abdul Hamid

    Dear Sir.
    I need to do a MRI of the Brain.
    Can your open MRI do this procedure.
    Kindly advise.
    Thank you.

    1. Yama Zafer, D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic)

      Dear Mr Abdul Hamid,

      Thank you for your inquiry about MRI services. I must inform you that we do not have MRI facilities at our center. Regarding your interest in open MRI for brain imaging, here are some pros and cons to consider:

      Pros of Open MRI:
      • Less Confining: Open MRI machines are less enclosed than traditional MRIs, making them a good choice for patients who experience claustrophobia.
      • Increased Comfort: The open design can accommodate patients of varying body sizes more comfortably.
      • Reduced Noise: Some open MRI machines operate more quietly than standard MRI units, which might be less intimidating for patients.

      Cons of Open MRI:
      • Lower Image Quality: Open MRIs typically have lower magnetic field strength, which can result in lower resolution images compared to traditional high-field MRI machines. This can be particularly challenging when detailed imaging of brain structures is required.
      • Longer Scan Times: Due to the lower field strength, scan times can be longer, which might be inconvenient for some patients.

      I recommend contacting a specialized imaging center or hospital that offers both traditional and open MRI options to discuss which type would be best suited for your specific needs.

      Kind regards,

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