Fibromyalgia Action UK

MRI Scans

Hi friends I had my second MRI scan yesterday and once again it was horrible.The first one I had was at Yeovil hospital and I was squashed into the scanner head first. It lasted for around 30 minutes stopping every 10 minutes or so and I was asked each time if I was O.K. I could do a little shuffle to try to get comfy again, but not much room.

Yesterday I had my second scan at Shepton Mallett hospital, and I went inothe scanner feet first this time, but I had to place my arms on my chest as it was so tight in there. The sides of the scanner did feel fairly soft on my arms but there was no room at all with the top of the scanner about 6 inches from my face. I was in there for 45 minutes with no break. I had a panic buzzer in my hand which I could press if I needed to, but to be honest I just wanted to get it over with as soon as possible.So I couldnt move a muscle all that time.

Now I know I am "well rounded" at 14 stone, but how on earth do larger people get into these machines? are the sides flexible?

I just hope and pray I never have to endure another scan EVER!! Hopefully they will now find something they can do to ease my terrible pain. My specialist has told me he thinks I have "greater tronconderic pain syndrome" (think thats how its spelled) due to a nasty fall last summer.

As if its not enough having fibro, plus osteo arthritis. Katy

11 Replies

That's completely unhelpful. I am a LOT bigger than you so know where you are coming from. However I don't suffer claustrophobia or anything like it. Next time ask if you can bring a friend. As long as they fill the no metal bits rule they can sit with you. I've done it for a friend several times. I was allowed to hold her hand throughout She said it was extremely comforting - the fact of human contact reduces stress levels no end so you're also less likely to influence the scan (by fidgeting etc). Later MRIs are bigger too so it is possible to be less constricted. It only works if your hospital has one but you could ask to go to one. Be warned it might be a bit of journey though I'd be surprised if there's not one in Bristol.

I have osteo and fibro too but not the other one. I can't find anything that fits the name and wonder if it's "chronic pain syndrome" - but that's been used as a synonym for fibro.

Ps I spoiled a cat scan once. I was so relaxed I fell asleep! I know that's not for every one.


Been there done that at smethwick nuero hospital. Which is alas no more.... :)


Hi fenbadger I have looked up the correct spelling on one of my problems and its called Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome. As for someone holding my hand I dont think I could bear having my arm and hand stretched right back above my head for 45 minutes.


Hi FibroFoggyKaty1 I finally found it but you beat me to it. Google is better than NHS!

You're right about the painful position. How about touching the foot? Done that too. We had a brilliant team at Guildford - very understanding as a lot are. They're usually ahead of us knowing what's to come and are prepared for our idiosyncrasies. That does seem a rather long time in the hoop. As long as the friend doesn't move it's ok. It's about what's important for you. I sympathise with your suffering on top of your conditions. It's not fair, is it? Gentle hugs x


Hello Fibrofoggykaty,

Sorry to hear you have been going under more investigations, however I am quite impressed your GP referred you rather than saying the common 'it's a Fibro flare!'

If you do get a diagnosis of Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome here's some further information from as they hold the Information Standard Certficate

Please let us know how you go

Best Wishes

Emma :)

FibroAction Administrator


Hi FibroFoggyKaty1

I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well as you possibly can be today? I am so sorry that you found your MRI experience so unpleasant, and I hope that you have gotten over the experience. I have recently had a couple of MRI's and I am not a large man by any means, I am only just under 11 and a half stone, and it was a claustrophobic experience.

I have a back problem, and I found the most difficult aspect was lying on my back for over half and hour. I must admit that the staff there were really good, as they helped me on and off the (what do you call it?) the bed / conveyer belt thing!

Anyway, I sincerely hope that there were no problems showing and that you do not have to go through that again.

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken x


I have exactly the same it's very painful, and has

A lot to answer for mainly off sick, and sleeping on

A sofa as I can't get up stairs, so I feel for you.

My pain never goes but it gets bearable for a few

Weeks until it hits me again.

Love Viv x


Thanks for all your replies here. I expect the nearest large scanner to me would be Bristol or Taunton. Shepton Mallett is a private hospital but they do scans for NHS patients too. I was sent there rather than Yeovil as the waiting limit is so much quicker, around 3 weeks. The chap who did the scanning wasnt helpful at all and hardly spoke to me, let alone put me at ease.He told my hubby I would be 30 minutes so I told him to go to the coffee shop and I would meet him there when I was finished. Well he waited and waited for me and in the end he came back to the unit to see where I was. I was still a further 15 minutes so in total so I was just about 50 minutes from going in to coming out.My consultant is a brilliant man and I have lots of faith in him, he is determined to get my extra pains sorted out, so hopefully this MRI will point him in the right direction. I will let you know when I go for my results on the 27th March.


Hi Fibrofoggykaty1, I am sorry you had to have a scan and struggled with it. I am extremely claustrophobic and at my last MRI I had a massive panic attack despite having taken diazepam to help me stay calm. I dread ever having to have one again. Apparently there is an open scanner in London which if I ever need one again I will insist on. Either that or they will have to give me a general anaesthetic like they do for my daughter when she has her MRI scans. Mind you saying this, my doctors are useless and despite my pain having been so much worse lately and feeling very very unwell, they just say oh its your fibro and will probably put every pain and symptom down to that in the future and so wont need a scan anyway.

I hope they can help you further once they get the results.

Best Wishes



I'm bigger than you too Katy! I just managed to squeeze into the scanner some years ago, but I believe nowadays they have a larger scanner to accommodate the larger population! I really do hope so!! XX


Dear Katy,sorry you had a bad experience.. I have had all kinds of MRI'S and I've been in closed MRIs and Open MRIs you would definitely request an open MRI if you can..I live in the US and I don't know how available they are to you but just recently I had a horrible experience in the closed MRI I am a Big girl and was so squished I could hardly hold the sucked!So ,from one Gal to another look into a Open Mri in the future so much better ...check them out on google if you want to know what they look like ..good luck and God bless!


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