Getting an MRI can sound more nerve-wracking than it actually is. MRIs, or magnetic resonance imaging, is used to get a much clearer picture of the inside of your body. From knee injuries to brain tumors, MRIs are radiology services that can offer lifesaving diagnostic imaging in some cases. If you are scheduled for an MRI, you might be nervous about being in an enclosed space. How you manage is often directly related to why you are going for an MRI in the first place. When you have a serious medical issue going on, this can only heighten your nerves about getting an MRI done. It helps to understand the procedure and what to expect while you are inside.
MRIs are Painless
Much like an X-Ray, MRIs don't cause you any pain. The images are taken using a series of magnets, and you simply lie there and wait for the images to be done. You might feel a little stiff from staying in the same position, but the test itself is painless.
The Magnets are Loud
The magnets within an MRI machine create a loud banging noise. Your radiology technician will give you a pair of earplugs, or possibly let you choose music to listen to something with some headphones. You will still hear the magnets, but it won't be as bothersome with earplugs or headphones on. Expect the banging noise, and know that this is a normal part of the test.
Moving Around Make the Test Last Longer
It can be difficult to lie perfectly still when you are getting an MRI. While you might fidget once in a while, this can cause your images to be blurry. The technician may repeat a series of imaging if you move around, but this is no big deal and will simply make the test last longer.
Talk to Your Ordering Physician
If you are very nervous about your MRI, talk to the physician or radiology service ordering the test. You might be able to take a mild sedative that can make the test easier for you. Some people have a hard time, and medication can have a positive impact.
The Space Can Feel Constricting
While there are open MRIs, it can still feel restricting to those with a fear of small spaces. Know that you can have the test stopped at any time. Learn some deep breathing exercises to help you stay calm and potentially fall asleep while the test is going on.