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When Should You Have an X-Ray or MRI or Cat Scan for Injury?

When Should You Have an X-Ray or MRI or Cat Scan for Injury?


It is not always necessary to have an x-ray or MRI following an injury. If you have had an accident or trauma you may be advised to present for x-ray. Breaks or fractures are painful and you can usually feel the area where the break may be. Broken bones often result in bad bruising, swelling or may look out of place.

If you have unnatural and painful movement you may have a broken bone. Outside of the obvious fracture, it is not always immediately clear whether you need an x-ray or not. MRIs or scans should only be considered if you have had clear advice from your physiotherapist or doctor, to go down this road. They can be costly and waiting times can be long. It is important not to miss out on other rehabilitation in the meantime, which could have lasting positive impact.

Do I Need a Scan or X-Ray before I see a Physiotherapist?

  • Unless you have been specifically told by your doctor to have a scan before you attend your physiotherapist, there is no need to assume that you must do so. The experts at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic are highly skilled professionals, trained to help determine a client’s injury.  Investigations are useful aids, but may not indicate the full nature of your injury. Your physiotherapist will carry out a detailed examination and assessment of your injury as part of a programme for your recovery from injury.
  • If your pain came on gradually or seems to have had no specific event causing it, then you Probably don’t need any investigations immediately. Often a course of physiotherapy can rectify the problem.
  • Remember that doctors and the medical profession often work together for your recovery. If your physiotherapist believes that there are causes to refer you for x-ray or other scan, they will not hesitate to do so. They are trained to recognise any warning signs and will always have their clients’ health and wellbeing to the fore of their mind. This can mean continuing with physiotherapy alone or taking a combined approach with your doctor.
  • There are some injuries which are derived from strains, tears or overuse. Your physiotherapist will work with you in planning a programme to get you back to full mobility and healing.

You do not necessarily need an x-ray before seeing your physiotherapist.  Often a course of physiotherapy will have a real impact on your recovery. At Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic, our expert staff will advise you if your injury requires any further investigation.


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