When pain relief medication, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories and other therapies such as physiotherapy do not help to relieve back pain and other health conditions, it is necessary to seek a diagnosis for the underlying cause. In this event it is more than likely that a patient will be sent for a CT or MRI scans so that a medical practitioner can get a look at what is going on inside.

A CT or Computer Tomography scan (often referred to as a CAT scan) is the same as an x-ray except that it provides a much more detailed image in the form of cross sections of the area being scanned. Imagine cutting down a tree and looking at the rings – this is the type of imaging that a CT scan reveals of the human body.

Transdermal or pain patches are often removed and discarded before a patient can undergo a CT scan.

This is because a number of these patches contain aluminum which will interfere with imaging process resulting in an image that is unclear or unreadable. A patient may even be required to discontinue use of these patches for 1-2 days before undergoing a CT scan.

An MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan uses a combination of a magnetic field and radio frequencies in order to produce a detailed image. Any metal that is present on the patient or even inside the patient (such as implants or pins) must be removed before starting the imaging process. This includes transdermal or pain patches that may or may not contain aluminum.

In the same way that metal infterferes with clear imaging in a CT scan, it will results in a problems with imaging in an MRI scan. That is if any imaging can be performed at all as the patient will not be able to remain still which is a requirement of an MRI scan. Know about the Best Muscle Cream For Pain Relief .

The magnetic resonance heats up metal to an intense degree

That will result in minor to major burns depending on the area covered by the metal object or how quickly the procedure can be stopped. In the case of pain patches, the entire area covered by the patch may be severely burnt.

An MRI may also pull metal out of an object or person due to the magnetic attratction to metals. While this may not affect the patient wearing a pain patch, it could be quite painful if any of the aluminum contained in the patch has entered the blood stream or the tissue. This is why these patches are often removed and disposed of for a period of 1-2 days before an MRI scan.

If a patient has been using transdermal patches a couple of days before undergoing a MRI or CT scan, it is important to inform their radiologist or MRI technician before the procedure starts. If an attending nurse or technician does not remove patches before the procedure, it is very important that the patient do this him or herself and inform the medical practitioner of the use of transdermal patches. For more information visit now .