Have you been putting off seeing a doctor for an aching joint or other concerning symptoms? Don’t worry; you are not alone. High costs, increased stress, and high time commitments are major factors for why many people delay care, including medical imaging. However, seeing your doctor for your symptoms as early as possible helps you receive an accurate diagnosis and get back on your feet. Your doctor may recommend certain diagnostic imaging scans, including MRI scans and other exams, to get to the root of your issues.
Taking your health off the back burner can help you save money and time in the long term, and affordable imaging is an important first step.
Stopping small aches at their onset
When you have aches and pains or other symptoms that are bothersome but not severe, it can be easy to put off seeing a doctor. But often, finding relief for your symptoms can mean avoiding time-consuming and expensive medical intervention. Medical imaging can help get to the root of many types of pain, including:
- Abdominal pain: Pain in the abdominal region can be traced to issues revealed by ultrasound technology and CT scans.
- Back or neck pain: These symptoms could be signs of a bulging disc, which could become a herniated disc. Getting medical imaging, such as a lumbar spine MRI, can help your doctor pinpoint the problem and recommend treatment.
- Foot pain: Having ongoing pain in your foot, especially after a fall, can indicate a hairline fracture. An X-ray can identify the fracture and allow your doctor to determine the best treatment so the bone can heal.
- Joint pain: Osteoarthritic issues and other causes of joint pain can be diagnosed with the help of an MRI scan.
- Neuropathic pain: Injury or degenerative damage to nerves can cause pain. Both ultrasound and MRI technology are used to analyze nerves and the central nervous system as a whole.
By prioritizing your health and using all the tools available to get a proper diagnosis, your health condition has a better chance of improving, and treatments may be far more affordable and less time-consuming.
The importance of early detection
Certain chronic conditions may not display symptoms right away, but they develop over time. These “silent” conditions may include risk factors that you cannot change, including family history.
Preventive imaging can help doctors track many of these conditions, including:
- Osteoporosis: This disease that causes weak and brittle bones usually has no symptoms until a serious issue occurs, such as a broken bone or fractured vertebrae. A DEXA scan can detect osteoporosis in its early stages so treatment can begin before a complication develops.
- Heart disease: If you have risk factors for heart disease but no symptoms, a type of CT scan called cardiac calcium scoring can help your doctor see how healthy your heart is. If you have plaque buildup, you can start treatment to prevent a heart attack.
- Dementia: Memory care concerns can develop over time, and there is increasing evidence that shows the role that certain imaging modalities can have in diagnosing dementia and other conditions. These scans can include diagnostic MRI technology and NeuroQuant, a specialized imaging software used alongside an MRI scan.
Touchstone Medical Imaging offers high-quality, cost-effective medical imaging. After getting a doctor’s order for imaging, call the center most convenient for you to make an appointment.
Halting cancer in its tracks
Imaging can also help doctors detect cancer in its early stages, before it has a chance to spread to other parts of the body. A recent study by the American Journal of Managed Care shows that when cancer is detected during later stages, the cost burden could be as much as two to four times what it would be if the disease had been detected in early stages.
When cancer is treated early, more options are available and treatment may be less expensive. Imaging options include:
- Mammograms: Screening mammograms can detect breast cancer early and are typically covered by insurance at no cost.
- Low-dose CT for lung cancer: Like a mammogram, insurance covers a single low-dose CT screening for certain patients.
- Diagnostic MRI: Doctors can use MRI to look for signs of cancer in certain patients or to see if a cancer has spread. This can help treatment begin earlier.
Scheduling your imaging scans at a freestanding center can be time-saving and convenient while saving you additional dollars. The compassionate technologists at Touchstone Medical Imaging use advanced technology for reliable, high-quality imaging. If you have a doctor’s order for outpatient imaging, contact your local Touchstone Medical Imaging center to schedule a scan.