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Have you ever had an MRI or MRA that caused head pain and/or an intense reaction in the brain?

Where is Dr. House when you need him?

I ask this because my friend and I both recently had MRIs (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) with and without contrast and MRAs (Magnetic Resonance Angiography). We both suffer from almost the same form of migraine disease (Intractable Transformative Migraine/Status Migrainous). So we ALWAYS have a migraine in some form or another, either very mild or severe or one that never quite turns into head pain but causes eye pain, stomach pain, spinal pain, nausea etc.

Anyway, I had a new MRI/MRA a couple of months ago, July I think. And my friend Amanda had hers yesterday. On comparing notes about our experience we found that we were symptom-free during the first 10 minutes or so of the MRI/MRA process then the machine hit a particular resonance with the magnet field and BAM! intense head pain, throbbing a sensation of shocking waves going through out our brains which caused spasms, twitching and mild seizure. We were both gritting our teeth (I broken a tooth during my last MRI from trying to hold on during the procedure) and both feeling this bizarre stabbing pain through our brains as if our heads our trying to explode or maybe collapse during the height of the procedure.

I can only say that my tech was watching me on his monitor and stopped the procedure to see if I was okay because he could see on the monitor that my face was contorting, spasming and I was physically twitching uncontrollably. It was like I was being given an electric shock in the inside of my brain then along my brain stem then down my spine. Well, yesterday the same thing happened to my friend Amanda.

She went into the testing with finally a very mild migraine with barely any head pain and when the MRI hit a certain resonance she described what she felt in her head and she had the same thing happen that happened to me. She actually had a seizure during the MRI/MRA process. They could only say that they could see the sort of frenzy her brain was having. She left there with intense throbbing head pain as I did.

What on Earth? In posting on another site dedicated to the migraineur I asked this question to those who'd had a brain MRI or MRA or even an MRI or other body parts and about 6 out 10 said they experienced a similar thing. A particular magnetic frequency from the machine triggered these sensations and they left with not a headache per say but head pain like they'd been shocked inside their brains.

Anyone else experience this or something like it while having a head MRI or MRA with or without contrast?

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reiahart reiahart 4 years
I do not agree with some of the posts about how these feelings are purely psychological and are imagined. I did not feel pain during my MRI but I sure felt the sensations going through my brain as the device was rotating. I had a cloth over my eyes and still could tell where the device was as it was sending pulses through my brain. Not that I would have seen it regardless because that is not how the machine appears. I believe some people have higher senses than others and that is one possibility why we suffer from migraines. (I have them as well, hence why I recently had to get an MRI.) The further along the MRI went I started becoming extremely disoriented. I experienced vertigo. My body was in the same position but I felt as if I was 90 degrees to it, swirling around and at times completely vertical. It was so nauseating! Luckily, the technician pulled me out to put the contrast in my system so I had a breather before putting me back in. However, I do not know if it is the contrast or the MRI as a whole that is making me feel sick as a dog now. I feel like I have "metal particles" stuck in my sinuses or just all up in my head now. I'm disoriented and I feel extremely clogged up. My preventative medicine is working well and I have had no pain or migraines so that is not an issue but the after effects of the MRI are getting annoying. I'm sorry to all of you who have had pain. For those who do not believe it is possible, HELLO? It's a huge fuck'n magnet pumping radio waves into you. Though it may go on the verge of psuedoscience, radio waves can be felt by many human beings. (Obviously by testament here.) Not everything is explained and we still have a lot to learn.
tludwig tludwig 4 years
6-4-12 I have a P.S. to my post just above. I was exhausted to the extreme after that painful brain MRI and tried to get rest. Just two days ago after the brain MRI on 5-30-12, I had something happened that scared the life out of me. I began having excruciating pain in my right upper jaw and right side of my face with severe pains under my right rib cage. My hubby was asleep. I was putting pressure on the areas while trying to walk it off. There was numbness there, too. I remembered I had a bottle of low dose bayer aspirin downstairs in my purse and quickly took one when maybe 5 minutes later, those pains disappeared. I thought I might have been having a heart attack. All of this has happened since that last dreadful brain/lower back MRI and I have to wonder why and what did I just go through and pray I never have that pain again.
tludwig tludwig 4 years
In 2006 I had a brain tumor removed and then had 25 whole brain radiation treaments that ended in Sep. 2006. I have had every 3 month follow ups to include MRI with/without contrast dyes. I began having what I call brain pains just recently (6-4-12) and was given another brain scan with/without contrast dye on 5-30-12. Like the poster above, and I am so glad someone else has experienced this as everyone thinks I am crazy, right at the end of my scan, I, too, felt like the radiology tech was purposely elevating the rays at my left upper side of my brain making my face squince in pain which he ignored. At the end I asked him what made me have such excruciating pain? He asked "What did it feel like?" DUH! How could I describe it and I couldn't right then but later I was able to say how it someone was shocking me 4 times straight to my brain!!! IT HURT! That has NEVER happened during any of my brain MRI's until the one I took on 5-30-12!!! I recently had a gingival gum graft for which I was given generic vicodin and had some left. I took one and it was only then later that evening after that excruciating pain that I was able to get rid of it. This has never happened in the whole 6 years after my brain surgery/25 wbrt's. Why did it have to happen THIS time! Now I am totally scared to have anymore. I was also having a lateral MRI scan at the same time with/without contrast dye. It didn't even hurt but was totally uncomfortable lying flat on my back and I moved a little and the radiologist got upset with me because he had to take the back one again and so got behind on the schedule. He so much as rushed me out of the room telling me to get out of his dressing room now. THEN before that was when at the end of my brain MRI was when I felt the excruciating brain shocks. He didn't even look at my face. I actually wondered if he had the power in his own hands to push a button to elicite that pain to my brain, not just once but 4 quick times in succession and then I was done. I am so glad I am not the only one that has experienced this and I've searched quite a while until I found this information from others although I wasn't having migraines, I had brain surgery 6 years ago. They want me now to go see a neurologist for my brain pains, but I didn't want to travel 25 miles away to see one. I guess I will try to find a more local neurologist to see what caused them. Since taking the generic vicodin they haven't been as severe but they are still there almost like a tingling numbness waking up on the left side of my head where the brain tumor was. I cancelled the appt they made with the same neurosurgeon that did my surgery thinking I should see a neurologist and not a neurosurgeon. Since all these posts are rather old, I hope that being new here that you will see that I, too, have had the same electric shocks just recently. I have asked a few friends if they thought maybe the radiologist could have manipulated the MRI machine to do just what he did causing the electric shocks. He and his assistant were all cutesy/kind when I first went in but NOT after that happened to me rushing me to get out of their dressing room. They handed me a thank you card with their signed names on it thanking me for using their facility and said someone would call asking how I was treated from PRSA. They did but I ignored that call. I didn't have any nice thing to say about them and that it was all a gimmick to keep their jobs and told me so that if they didn't received an "excellent" throughout the survey, they could lose their jobs. Maybe they should lose their jobs after treating me the way they did. I am now terrified to have another brain scan and if I have to, I will be making sure it is at the imaging center and not the hospital and their names are not Russell and Jessica. Please, please respond to my lengthy comment. I will be calling my oncologist who ordered it first thing in the morning at tell him about it.
dandpalmer dandpalmer 7 years
I had a seizer three weeks ago in Miami, after a customer appointment for my job, I felt a pulse on the right side of my head then I felt the room shake… I was having a seizer. Week ago I went for my MRI, my doctor thinks I have Vertigo. but wanted to do a MRI, At the MRI I was in for 35 mins, no problems then they did what is called a diagnostic sequence. This was much higher pitch than normal. I started to shake and seize. I did not finish my scan. Today I went back to finish my MRA/MRI Neck and Head, they stared in my neck at first no issues once I they went to my Head, I stared getting intense pain in my right side of my head then shaking all over. They pulled me out and stopped my scan. The doctors and Techs said they have never seen this before.. Most would say this is Claustrophobia, but I had been in the machine for several minutes prior to seizing and it only happens during cretin sequences. My doctors wants me to go back but this time they will give me a sedative. I cannot take the pain! I have been in MRI several times in my life and this is the first time experiencing this. If you find out why you are having this please let me know….
I just stumbled onto this site while trying to find out why I had pain during the MRI of my brain that was done a couple days ago... I guess I am glad to know that there are others out there that have experienced that. I too have migraines, but the reason I ended up in the neurologist's office and needing an MRI is that on top of the headaches, I am having numbness and tingling in my arms and hands. During the MRI, I experienced a strong vibration that felt like it was pounding into my eye, my nose, and my temple. Then I went numb all over the left side of my head, face, neck, shoulder, arm, and hand. The technicians didn't seem concerned really, they just said that had never happened to anyone before... then they asked if I could have any implants in my head...??? I replied, "not unless I have been abducted by aliens and don't know it!" sheesh.... you'd think they would have been concerned that I was exibiting some really bad symptoms. I called my regular doctor's office when I got home because I was still having some headachiness, and my vision in my left eye was blurry. She said that if it worsened of any of the other symptoms returned that I should go straight to the ER... so, what I'm wondering is: did your MRI's reveal anything important? did you still have the strange syptoms afterwards? have YOU ever been abducted?(LOL) seriously, should I be concerned?
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
I wonder how much it is psychological, because there's no reason for an MRI to cause any sort of pain. I use the same type of machines to analyze samples at work and am very familiar with them and seriously, if you feel any sort of sensation from an MRI, it's completely imagined. It sounds like you were very tense going in, which may have triggered the pain in your head from just stressing yourself out. There's nothing scary about MRI machines (unless you're claustrophobic, I suppose), so there's nothing to worry about! (unless you have a metal plate inside your head?)
kiddylnd kiddylnd 8 years
UGH. That sounds awful. I've only had two MRI's and luckily for me I came through both with no pain or other ill effects.
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