Emma wakes up every morning with pain in her hip. There’s too much on the calendar to pay it much attention, though, so she takes some over-the-counter medication and focuses on getting her two teenage boys to school and making sure she has everything ready for an early morning presentation to new clients. Emma’s days are filled with meetings, long stints in front of her computer, and hustling through her family’s hectic schedule. In recent weeks, she’s had to shorten her evening runs because of the discomfort. What used to be her reset button before sitting down to dinner with her family or meeting friends for drinks has become more uncomfortable than invigorating. But like many people, Emma does her best to ignore it, assuming she’s simply been sitting too much or not stretching enough; there’s no time in her packed schedule to meet with her physician for a check-in.
Pain is our body’s warning siren, informing us that something is wrong. But we’re trained to ‘walk it off’ or let pain run its course. Which is fine when it comes to something innocuous like a paper cut. It’s not such good advice when it means we’re ignoring something more serious. Twenty percent of adults in the United States suffer from some form of chronic pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it’s more prevalent among women and older adults. Many more people deal with less serious, but still life-affecting, bouts of pain.
The good news: You can take some control back when it comes to your body and health. Medical diagnostic imaging—think CT and MRI scans—provides an extremely detailed internal view of your body’s structures. If done early enough, it can help doctors identify diseases and injuries before they become critical or affect your quality of life. Or it can guide treatment plans to help you live longer or more comfortably.
Touchstone Medical Imaging has 12 Front Range locations staffed with board-certified, sub-specialty radiologists who are trained to analyze every part of your body, from the brain to joints to your liver. (Pediatric radiologists are available to care for patients as young as eight years old.) The outpatient sites are open on weekends or during pre- and post-work hours to make appointments convenient for even the busiest mom; same-day appointments are available for certain exams like ultrasounds and X-rays. Plus, Touchstone is in-network with more than 90 percent of insurance plans. Even better: The cost for these imaging services averages 40 to 60 percent less than at most hospitals.
In addition to your physician receiving results within hours of your imaging appointment, you’ll also receive online access to your radiology report. The interactive interface relies on lay person language and anatomical diagrams to help you better understand your health status and improve communication with your doctor.
Providing Diagnostic Insight for Better Health
“When I would see folks as a traditional oncologist, they’d come to me with advanced cancer and significant symptoms,” says Dr. Mark Levandovsky, an oncology, hematology, and internal medicine physician who founded Preventive Medicine and Cancer Care, a concierge medical practice in southeast Denver. “What we can do with Touchstone and prevention imaging is lower the threshold of detection twentyfold, so that we can catch things way earlier, way before symptoms arrive, and way before they are not treatable. This is helping people to live longer and better lives.”
Your doctor can help you determine if diagnostic imaging will benefit you and your treatment plan based on your lifestyle, family history, and current concerns. For example, Dr. Levandovsky advises past or current smokers over the age of 50 to get annual CT scans to check on heart and coronary health and look out for lung cancer. Women older than 40, depending on their family risk levels, should get regular screening mammograms, which Touchstone offers. “Imaging is an extremely helpful way to hold someone accountable,” Dr. Levandovsky says. “Ninety percent of what happens to us is modifiable. It’s not what we’ve inherited from Mom and Dad. It’s within our control and power to really change.”
For a patient like Emma, a referral to Touchstone can help diagnose tendonitis and bursitis in her hip and return her to a full, active life more quickly. Instead of shuffling toward the end of her runs or painfully pacing the sidelines during her sons’ lacrosse games because the camping chair is too uncomfortable, she has her stride back and can enjoy the time with her family. She has a baseline for understanding her health now, and an action plan should the pain return. This time, she won’t ignore it.
Visit Touchstone’s online location guide for assistance with schedule an MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound or Screening Mammogram appointment at a local center.