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Severe Pain DURING MRI?



  • Hotplate HarryHHotplate Harry Posts: 1
    edited 02/06/2015 - 3:36 AM
    Just for the record, I recently experienced pain during a cervical spine MRI. My head was inside the toroid, close to the strong magnetic fields. Almost as soon as the machine started, I felt a sharp pulsing pain, a bit like an electric shock, behind my nose. Although I knew that MRIs shouldn't hurt, I really sensed that something wasn't right, so I pushed the emergency button and the techs stopped the scan. After I tried explaining to them that I was actually feeling pain from the fields, they said that this newer machine does in fact put more RF energy into me, at least during the initial phase of the scan. He suggested keeping my hands apart, as I had been clasping them together on my chest and forming an induction loop with my arms. I don't know if this really was the cause, as it doesn't explain why I felt pain in my nose.
    Anyway, the sharp pain didn't return, but still, I continued to feel a low-level, unpleasant sensation for the duration of the scan. And I have a hunch that these strong fields actually do mess with our brains. It could just be my imagination, but I don't feel quite the same after that scan. It's hard to explain, but it's like a sort of numbness of the senses. I used to think of MRIs as safe, benign procedures, but because of this experience, I'm now suspicious that they can have some side-effects.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434
    even the newest MRI machine should not cause pain.

    There could be a number of existing conditions that the patient has that might trigger some problems, but I doubt if it is the MRI machine itself.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • I would contact the VA regarding potential exposure to burning metals in the desert. Studies have shown chronic health issues from it!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I had c-4, c-5 fuzed with plate and screws. I had several MRIs with no problems but the last one like to have killed me with pain! No one that I can find knows why. They say I am not supposed to hurt but I tell them I do. It it a nightmare. I am in in constant pain all the time since the surgery. I have been to 4 to 5 surgeons with no help. I just suffer and take pain meds. Someone needs to find out why the MRI hurts so bad!
  • SolebruSSolebru Posts: 1
    edited 12/15/2015 - 11:38 PM
    had mri few hours ago on my right ankle. I've had X-rays and mri before but I remember distinctly the man saying press this if you ever need to stop. Now why would I need to stop I ask myself? I thought I'll be fine man just give me the head phones and music I'll be sweet. I'm 34 by the way. anyhow, by the 3rd phase I could feel tingling and all my toes on the right foot having to twitch for unknown reasons, left foot fine. It was all the right foot I could feel compression and like something jabbing it all over in tune with that annoying beeping sound. I thought ahh whatever, 4th phase got worse and 5th phase I counted the seconds down so I could press that [edit] button. I was starting to get pain and burning in my ankle where they seemed to be concentrating. I press it and tell them but they say ohh only 1 more left, another 3 mins and it's over. So I stuck it out and explained after, all my back was burning too from the heat. They said you probably felt the waves or something because I said I felt a pulsesating feeling continuously jabbing me and pain was developing. they didn't care, in one ear out the other.. Walking to my car, toes went tingly and pain started in toes too. but ankle was fine.
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,270
    edited 12/17/2015 - 11:54 AM
    welcome to spine-health
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    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,270
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    Two years ago I had a shoulder MRI. The nurse practitioner was positive I had "frozen shoulder". My shoulder moved so I was unsure of the "frozen" part.

    A week later I was in the MRI in a brace of sorts to keep my shoulder in position. The pain brought tears to my eyes and I moved. I heard "the voice from above" asking me not to move but I had moved my neck and alleviated the pain in my shoulder. Later by several months it was finally discovered that the pain was related to several herniated cervical disks. Having my shoulder pinned in a particular position exacerbated the pain in my neck. It wasn't directly caused by the MRI but it did cause pain!

    Previous to that by a few years I was having an MRI of my knee. Now my knee is partially "bionic". It's made up of cadaver bone and titanium. I was told the scan would take 45 minutes. As you know there is no way of telling time in there so I meditated. When I got out 90 minutes later I asked why the scan took so much longer. The tech told me I had metal in my knee. I said that it had been discussed and it was also noted on the pre-scan survey. She just said, "Oh I never read those things!" ARGH! I know, they must get so sick of reading the same old thing they get lazy!

    The extended scan for my knee wasn't painful for my knee BUT it was extremely painful for my back and my neck. I really want a tee shirt that says, "Handle with Care!"


    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
  • I just had a similar experience during a lumbar and cervical MRI. I've been having low back pain, neck pain, and peripheral neuropathy symptoms (e.g., sciatica) that have spread to my inner thighs/outer genital area.

    The lumbar one was done first, and I was actually okay during it. I had muscle twitches in my legs and some numbness/tingling. (I think I had some muscle pain as well, but that can probably be attributed to the twitching.) I wondered if the sudden worsening of my symptoms something to do with the position I was in (with a pillow propped up under my legs), because that's not a position I'm normally in. And I was surprisingly dizzy after it was done.

    A couple minutes into the cervical MRI, the side of my neck started to hurt. And though I wouldn't have considered it severe pain, apparently it was bad enough to make me move and not even realize it. (So I ended up having to repeat that part a couple times.) Thankfully it got better after that test, but I was still feeling a little bit of pain, and the muscle twitches and slight muscle pain continued in my legs as well. My left arm also started going numb, which I thought was weird... It was a numbness I'd never experienced before (and I'm not exactly new to peripheral neuropathy, as I had carpal tunnel surgery twice when I was a child). Like my arm was actually burning - again, not severe, but still odd as I've never had any pain or other strange sensations during MRIs.

    I'm not sure if this was just coincidence or what, but I'll probably ask my orthopedic about it when he gives me the results.
  • alarmedaalarmed ConnecticutPosts: 1
    I went to NYC for a pre surgical MRI. My first MRI was scary and I had to quit in the middle, not due to claustrophobia but due to intense and unnatural pressure in my chest and body that was intense. I felt as if I was going to have a heart attack and quit the procedure.  Now I need a hip REVISION and the surgeon ordered an MRI. The second one was not bad during it but after I got out and up I began to have weakness and lack of control of my legs. When I got home the pain escalated and for almost a month now I have been in intense pain in my legs that makes it hard for me to stand and walk. I was never this way before the MRI.
    I do have arthritis in my back and hip and have history of fibromyalgia but this pain is something I never experienced before and is incapacitating. It feels like a bruise does on my knee and shin and the hip replacement is more painful than ever before so it is hard to walk and go up and down stairs. Many times I cannot sleep at night due to the pain. This stuff is dangerous and no one warned me of any side effects. They must know that some people react badly but they don't monitor the dosage, ask if you have fibromyalgia or anything. If any one wants to do something about this irresponsibility on the part of the medical  profession contact me.  I went to see a local doctor and he didn't answer any of my questions and only asked if I wanted an X-ray. He didn't acknowledge that many people as is seen on the internet have a lot of  pain or any other side effects. My memory feels much worse since the MRI. They are making tons of money on these things and it is for their convenience and I am Alarmed in CT. 
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