An MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a highly technical and informative way of imaging the human body. The images that are created can be very useful to your doctors
for detecting structural abnormalities of different organs, inflammation of soft tissue, and tears of muscle or ligaments, among other problems. MRI, like all other imaging abnormalities such as CT scan, x-rays, and ultrasound
, does not provide any information beyond the images produced. In other words, the doctor reading the imaging (the radiologist
) cannot make any definitive statement about the symptoms that a patient may be experiencing based on the scan.
Images allow doctors to make reasonable (and sometimes very accurate) estimates about the clinical scenario, but cannot provide the doctor with an exact level of pain that you may be experiencing. For example, a doctor may see inflammation of the pancreas on the MRI and may infer that the patient has pain in his/her upper abdomen, but would not be able to quantify how much pain the patient is in. Pain is a subjective feeling that is difficult to measure, and so it is very important that you communicate to your doctor exactly what you are feeling in order to be treated appropriately. It is advised that you seek out the help of your doctor to discuss your questions further.