Can a physio refer me for a MRI?
One of the most common questions we receive at Penrith Physiotherapy is whether we can refer clients for an MRI. In short, the answer is YES! A physio can refer you for most types of imaging such as an MRI, CT, Ultrasound and X-ray. There is, however, a small caveat in this. Unlike an X-ray or Ultrasound, you will not receive any rebate for an MRI or CT scan if referred by a physiotherapist. In most cases, if this imaging is required, your physio will refer you to your GP to guide further investigations.
Below are some of the common types of imaging and their differences:
MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to form pictures of the anatomy and the physiological processes of the body. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields, magnetic field gradients, and radio waves to generate images of internal organs.
CT: Computed Tomography scan is a medical imaging technique used to obtain detailed internal images of the body. The personnel that perform CT scans can be referred to as radiographers or radiology technologists. CT scanners use a rotating X-ray tube and a row of detectors placed in a gantry to measure X-ray attenuations by different tissues inside the body.
Ultrasound: In diagnosis, it is used to create an image of internal body structures such as tendons, muscles, joints, blood vessels, and internal organs, to measure some characteristics (e.g. distances and velocities) or to generate an informative audible sound. The usage of ultrasound to produce visual images for medicine can be referred to as medical ultrasonography, simply sonography, or echography.
X-rays: are a form of electromagnetic radiation, similar to visible light. Unlike light, however, X-Rays have higher energy and can pass through most objects, including the body. Medical X-Rays can generate images of tissues and structures inside the body. If X-Rays traveling through the body pass through an X-Ray detector on the other side, an image can represent the “shadows” formed by the objects.