MRI of the lumbar spine is an extremely useful tool in evaluating patients with low back pain or symptoms of a pinched nerve. MRI can accurately assess for degenerative disc disease as well as disc herniation. The radiologist will report any narrowing of the spinal canal as well as any narrowing of the neural foramina (the space in which the nerves leave the spinal canal).
A specialized coil will be placed around your back. You will lie on your back for about 30 minutes in the MRI machine.