A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is a powerful diagnostic tool that uses a strong magnetic field to produce high-quality images in multiple planes or directions. The images are generated using superconducting magnets and pulsed radio waves. It has been in use since the early 1980s and has no known side-effects.  Unlike x-rays and CT (computerised tomography) scans, MRI scans do not use radiation.

MRI has become the investigation of choice for many neurological and musculoskeletal conditions and is used in all areas of the body. It helps identify problems in soft tissue in particular nerves, muscles, ligaments and tendons.