How to Prepare Yourself For An MRI

radiologistMRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is a special test that uses a magnetic field and radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and other bodily structures. It can be used to provide medical professionals with information about the body that cannot be provided with other imaging methods, like X-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans (computed tomography).

MRI testing might be done for a variety of reasons to several different areas of the body. It can check the discs of the spine for conditions like spinal stenosis and spinal tumors. It can reveal bone and joint problems, including torn ligaments or tendons and infections. Sometimes, X-ray results are inconclusive and an MRI may be used to tell if a bone is broken. They are so helpful to medical professionals in both the treatment and diagnostic phases of patient medicine that almost 30 million MRI scans are performed in the United States each year.

No matter how helpful they are, MRIs can still be daunting to many patients. After all, it entails a patient to be placed inside a special machine that contains a strong magnet. The test can last from 30 minutes to up to two hours. It is at the least uncomfortable and at the most a little nerve-wracking. Check out some of these tips to prepare for your MRI and keep yourself calm during the test so your doctors can ensure the best possible care:

Communicate with the Radiology Staff
If you are at all uneasy, let the staff know. They are experienced with helping people successfully get through the test. If you are claustrophobic or have other relevant conditions, it is important that you let them know before the test.

Wear the Right Clothing
Wear comfortable clothing without any metal fasteners or designs. If there is any metal on your clothing, you may be asked by the radiology staff to change into a cotton hospital gown. You’ll feel better and comfier during the test if you get to wear your own clothing.

Be Prepared for the Noise
MRI machines are loud, but your radiologists will provide you with earphones for you to listen to your own tunes or podcasts. If you are still experiencing discomfort, try practicing mindful meditation or wearing a sleeping mask.

Don’t hesitate to ask your radiologists any questions before your MRI — they will do their best to make you are as comfortable as possible!

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