View Full Version : Scared of MRI! on neck, claustrophobic!

21-07-17, 21:21
Not the result but the actual MRI scan.

I'm terribly claustrophobic, I mean really bad and have to have a neck scan.

Just been looking online and it looks like I will have to wear a head cage thing? which is even worse, being restricted is really going to freak me out!

So has anyone had one on the neck? was it a long scan? and did you have to wear a cage?


31-07-17, 16:21

Have you had your scan yet? If you let the staff know, perhaps telephone them before, then they can take extra steps to make sure you are ok and relaxed, some can even arrange for calming music and maybe even sedation to help you.
I get claustrophobia and had to have a neck mri. I wasn't expecting the cage and foam padding that keeps your head and neck still. But it's not so bad with your eyes closed. I used mindfulness techniques, with breathing and meditation to help me as I knew I had to have the mri done. I got through it, several times.

31-07-17, 19:11
With my cancer treatment, I had radiation and wore a fiberglass mask snapped down to the table to keep my head immobile. An MRI is less confining but I get what you're saying. I took a chill pill to help me relax (Xanax) before my treatments and they played music during my treatment. Ask your doc for something to relax you.

It doesn't take long at all. Just a little noisy. It'll be over before you know it ;)

Positive thoughts

Catherine S
31-07-17, 19:59
I'm also extremely claustrophobic and this would be a nightmare for me too. However, there is a facility in Cheltenham that uses an 'open' scanner...it's much wider and open on three sides and is specifically for either people whose body weight is greater than a conventional scanner can take, or people with documented claustrophobia, that's to say your GP knows of this and can refer you based on it. It's still part of the National health service so you won't have to pay, but you may have to wait longer for an appointment.

My brother travelled to this facility when he had to have an MRI a few years ago. Apparently there are only two of these open scanners in the UK and i'm not sure where the other is. There should be more of them though, but I think they cost the NHS alot more to buy.


31-07-17, 20:03
I had a head and neck MRI a few weeks ago. I thought I would be scared, but it was extremely easy.

Yes, I wore a cage thing. They called it a goalie mask. I just listened to the headphones, closed my eyes and spaced out.

The scans were about 3-4 minutes each and they have a seriesof them in a row.

I really think you'll be fine, but tell the tech about your concerns.

Catherine S
31-07-17, 20:19
Meant2live, can I ask..are you claustrophobic? Some people are extremely fearful about things like this, not just a bit nervous. I can't sit in the back of a car if it only has 2 doors for example...I have to sit next to a door wherever I am for an easy escape, and that goes for many every day situations that wouldn't bother somebody who doesn't suffer with it. Just as Agoraphobia at its worst can mean not leaving your house for many years, true claustrophobia can be just as extreme.

Not saying this to call you out on your reply, but sometimes...as a lifelong sufferer...I wish people could understand how debilitating this phobia can be, because I wish it was only a matter of just feeling a little nervous and taking a few deep breaths and all will be well. That would be a real breakthrough for me I can tell you :)

31-07-17, 20:22
an 'open' scanner...it's much wider and open on three sides and is specifically for either people whose body weight is greater than a conventional scanner can take, or people with documented claustrophobia

My cardiologist has one of them. When I did my nuclear stress test they used it. Yeah, it was a piece of cake.

Positive thoughts

Catherine S
31-07-17, 20:57
Fish, yes it was the only way my brother's doctor knew he'd go for the scan, and he got through it fine.

Like everything there are degrees of our fears and alot of people have a certain amount of claustrophobic layers...scared of the dark, being in lifts etc, but others have it so badly that it can interfere with everyday life. My brother and I both suffer because my late father had a habit of locking us in a small unlit under-stairs cupboard when we misbehaved as children.

That stayed with us I guess and having any kind of therapy meant telling others about it and we couldn't do that to our mother. To this day I can't lock a door or sleep in complete darkness. I have candles and matches ready in case we have a blackout during storms etc. Give me any situation and i'll give you my fear of it as I perceive it, and what strategies I have in place to cope with it. :wacko:

Cath ☺

01-08-17, 10:04
I had an MRI on my head and I have Claustrophobia,my GP gave me 2 diazepam 5mg to help me relax,they worked along with listening to Enya through the headphones I fell asleep,the procedure took 25 minutes.
Like Fish said ask your doctor for a pill ( or two) :)