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Can an MRI show pelvic floor issues?

I'm supposed to get an MRI on my lower back. Can this show issues with a weak pelvic floor or only the spine?
2 Responses
134578 tn?1602101550
COMMUNITY LEADER
It depends on what the tech is told to focus on and where the machine is pointing, I'm sure. Are you sure you have a weak pelvic floor? If so, can you ask the doctor if the scan can include that area?
6 Comments
In the past my gyno stated that I might have a weak pelvic floor. This MRI is for another issue but I was wondering if it will show the pelvic area.
Its a lumbar MRI
If it's a lumbar MRI, the scanning will only focus specifically on your spine.

Only if the doctor was casting around to discover if something is wrong in a larger area would the scans possibly include more, and even then, the pelvic area probably wouldn't be on the list, since your pelvic floor would be less likely to be considered a cause of back pain.

Ask your ob/gyn sometime what he or she meant in saying that you "might" have a weak pelvic floor, and how this could be checked, and what to do about it. (MRIs show muscles, but they don't show "weakness," so probably you aren't missing a chance to learn anything in this upcoming MRI anyway.) The ob/gyn should clarify how important it would be if you have this issue, and explain exercises or other ways to address it.  
Do you think that  I should ask the doctor anyway to focus the MRI on that area as well? I have been having an issue with my leg so they are checking my lower backbut im thinking my issue might bewith my pelvic area because i dont have any back pain. a lower back MRI doesnt show the hip area?
To know what a lumbar MRI shows, you can google "lumbar MRI" and click on "Images." Regarding asking the doctor to focus the MRI on a particular area, you're getting into the territory of second-guessing a doctor, and that can drag all kinds of irrelevancies into the conversation, besides insulting the doctor by making it look like you think looking up something on the Internet is better than his going to school for 8 years and practicing for however long afterwards.  If the lumbar MRIs on Google don't look to you like they will address the area that is hurting, you can certainly ask your doctor, but be tactful in the way you ask.

I think "weak pelvic-floor" issues are about things like urine leaking or the colon not working quite right, and are handled with exercises like Kegels. This would suggest that scanning the pelvic floor wouldn't find any clues about your back pain.

If the doctor that ordered the MRI knows that your ob/gyn speculated once that you "might have a weak pelvic floor," he or she would have taken this into account when deciding what to scan. If you don't think the doctor knows the ob/gyn said that, you could bring it up in case it makes any difference. But if the doc ordering the MRI knew you might have a "weak pelvic floor," and didn't order a scan of your pelvis, probably it wouldn't make any difference.

Lower back pain plus leg pain often is sciatica. Has your doctor discussed that possibility with you? It can be pretty tough to diagnose, since it doesn't really show up on scans (and doesn't show up on any kind of blood test). What might be going on is that your doc is ordering the MRI just to rule out anything more serious before assuming it's sciatica.

In short, leave room for the possibility that your doctor is acting properly in the steps to diagnose your lower-back pain, and that you directing him or her to scan your pelvis might be irrelevant. Bring it up if you like, but always with the awareness that sometimes a doctor knows a whole lot and we know not as much. :)
I dont have lower back pain. The doctor is giving me an MRI on my lower back because of an issue with my leg. I think it might be caused by pelvic pain I have. my ob/gyn thinks I might have a weak pelvic floor so I think its connected. He doesn't know about the pelvic pain. I can bring it up if he doesn't see anything wrong with my MRI and see what he says...
20841821 tn?1547942964
Hello. The MRI lumbar spine will show the lumbosacral spine. Just to give you an idea, MRI imaging is very detailed to the area of the body the scan was ordered. Each body part is separate and would require an additional order and would be a separate CPT code. Even when scanning a pelvis, we refer to it as a bony pelvis or female pelvis depending on the history of the patient. Of course, there could be an incidental finding that would require additional imaging. However, for MRI to look at your pelvic floor strength you would need what is referred to as a functional MRI. Most often this would be MRI defecography exam. If you live in the United States and are using insurance, your insurance company will most likely require a full work up of your pelvic floor before authorizing an exam like MRI defecography. I hope you get some answers soon.
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