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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) also called magnetic resonance imaging is a method of investigation, where the structures of the inner body will be presented in detail and high resolution, with the help of a magnetic field which is applied from the outside, and the related orientation of atoms.

The method is used to picture the so-called soft tissue structures. These are primarily - related to the spine - intervertebral discs, nerves and spinal cord, but also changes in the vertebral bodies, such as the storage of water, the so-called bone marrow edema or Modic characters.

The method also has the advantage that no radiation occurs. Disadvantage is that the generation of the magnetic field is connected with a strong knocking noise and it is in a tube, which can be uncomfortable for people with claustrophobia.

Today, there are also developments of MRI, such as the so-called open MRI and the Upright MRI. The open MRI consists of two discs and is particularly suitable for people with claustrophobia. The Upright MRI allows, inter alia, in diagnostic function. This can sometimes reveal herniated discs or instability which is not displayed when lying during the investigation.

It must be remembered the pressure on an intervertebral disc while standing is about 10 times higher than while lying down. Thus, a herniated disk, not visible while lying, can be squeezed out in a standing position. Furthermore, the MRI is used for the diagnosis of spinal stenosis. There is also a special form the so-called MR-myelography, i.e. the representation of the premises, where the cerebrospinal fluid flows.

The images of MRI can be displayed in different layers, sagittal, coronal and axial or transverse. Due to the weighting of various factors, images with different gray values, the so-called T1-and T2-weighted images are being created.