Is Your MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) Necessary?

Magnetic resonance imaging, MRIs, are common imaging used to diagnose a variety of orthopedic or musculoskeletal conditions. However, many people are not aware that they may not need an MRI at all.

According to a study published in the journal Radiology, only 1 in 5 MRIs actually lead to a change in treatment plan. This means that many people are getting MRIs that are not necessary, and may be exposing themselves to unnecessary radiation and risks. Not to mention costs. The average price of an MRI is $1,325 with some coming in at $12,000!

Before Getting an MRI, Consider These Factors:

Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you are considering an MRI:

  • Are my symptoms severe or life-threatening?
  • Have I tried other diagnostic tests, such as bloodwork or physical examination?
  • Do I have any underlying medical conditions that could make an MRI risky?
  • Am I comfortable with the risks of radiation exposure?
  • How long will it take to get an MRI scheduled and insurance approval?

If you have concerns about any of these questions, you may be a candidate for a faster and safer alternative to an MRI to help determine what is behind your pain. Whether it's shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain or discomfort in another part of your body, there may be a more effective alternative to understanding what's behind your pain.

Potential MRI Alternative

There are many times when the imaging provided in an MRI is warranted to determine if an injury is so bad that it will require surgery. However, at Breaking Through, we believe tests that use imaging are limited by being a mere "snapshot in time." The MRI does not capture what is going on while the body is moving. Unfortunately, without this data, even an MRI may not provide the clarity about your pain or injury that you need in order to start with effective treatment.

At Breaking Through we use the patented One80 System to perform a full body assessment of your function to determine what the root cause of your pain is. Not only does the way your body performs during the assessment tell us what an MRI would show - it tells us more. We watch you move. We see where one part of the body may be compensating for a weak, or inactive, muscle in another part of the body.  An MRI doesn't show you that. And we get this important information about your health without the need for exposure to radiation or the price tag and inconvenience that accompanies the imaging process.

Along with this assessment, our doctors of physical therapy also perform treatment to reverse what is causing your pain and limitations.  We also provide you with an individualized home program that will include simple movements to keep your body take less than 7 minutes to perform, and explain to you what the root cause of your pain or limitation.

If you are concerned about getting an MRI, please contact us today to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to discuss your options and help you to make the best decision for your health.


A new, innovative approach to physical therapy. No gadgets and no gimmicks. Learn how The One80 System listens to your body to strengthen it for peak performance.


What do our patients say about the in-office neurofeedback sessions and buying or renting their own equipment for at-home use?