Brain and spine scan has anyone had werird vibrations...

hello everyone

on sunday ( i know :slight_smile: )

i had a brain and full spine mri done, i had to take half of a temepam though but with that and wearing an eye mask it wasnt as bad a i remembered.

what i was going to say was has anyone ever experianced odd sensations while in the scanner?

because when they got to half way through my spine/back i felt a strong vibration and a shaking in my back … they will tell me it shouldnt do that just like when ive said my topote with filling really hurt last time.

can anyone say what this means?

im worried about results not just as its because it will confirm secondary progressive ms but im worried might pick somthing else up.

my mental health has been very bad and since the scan i can hardly walk at all.

thanks guys x moo

Hi Moo,

From what I can recall (the last one was over five years ago now), there were LOADS of vibrations. I don’t see how they can say there shouldn’t be any.

For a start, it’s incredibly noisy, so how can there NOT be vibrations - from the sound, if nothing else?

Certainly, I felt aware of where the scanner was in relation to my body - what part of my spine it was doing - as I could feel the vibrations moving about. Not in a painful way - hard to describe - just aware of what it was up to. Also the area it was concentrating on started to feel warm - but again, not painful. You can just tell.

I’m positive it does not mean anything has gone wrong, and certainly not that you’ve been harmed in any way. There is no radiation from an MRI scan - the only “rays” involved are radio waves, which are harmless to humans, and we’re all being bombarded by them all the time. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t be able to sit at home and listen to the radio. If they’re hitting your radio aerial, they’re hitting you and everything around you too.


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It’s not just me! What a relief!

I don’t mind MRI scans at all, being comfortable with confined spaces, a bit of noise etc - it is just a chance for a nice little lie down, as far as I am concerned. BUT, while most of the scan is perfectly comfortable and fine, there comes a minute or two towards the end when suddenly I feel as though an irresistible electric charge is being passed through my spine and limbs, and it becomes the devil’s own job to keep still - all my muscles want to twitch and it requires a real effort to stop them. For me, it is not uncomfortable at all, just odd. But it isn’t pleasant because it feels as though my body has been taken over by some strange force for a minute or two. Then the scan process moves on to a different phase and the feeling stops as suddenly as it started. I have told people about this, but no one else has ever confessed to anything similar. Until now. :slight_smile:

It happens with a brain scan for me, by the way (that is the sort I have had in recent years - I’m on Tysabri, so they scan us annually.)

I am sorry that you have felt unwell since - I certainly have never suffered any after-effects or had reason to suspect that there’s a problem (apart from my being odd, but I knew that already!) I hope that the scan results are reassuring for you. I hope that you are also reassured to hear that you are not the only person to get odd sensations while in the scanner.


hi alison and tina
thankyou so much for your replies.
it really helped knowing im not alone in experiancing this, infact alison you described what happened to a tea,
ive only had brain scaNS befor and only ever felt my filling hurt,
but this was brain and spine.
i did jerk abit in middle of back and must have moved as i didnt feel in control either.
ive tried to find about it on the internet and nothing.
do you think its just an ms thing? im not able to weight bare on my legs now and i think the doctors and radioographers at the scans should be honest. as i mentioned about my tooth hurting to one of them and she shook her head at me me and said it shouldnt do. shes obviously never had one hey …

Morning Moo,

I’m very surprised to think we three who definitely felt vibration are on our own with this. I went in a BUPA one, so I don’t know how it compares with the average NHS one, but I would imagine they’re all much of a muchness - at least as far as noise and vibration are concerned. I shouldn’t think it’s an MS-specific thing no. I’d be surprised if any “normie” can go in one of those great clunky things, AND not feel it is vibrating.

Obviously must depend to an extent on what bit of you you’re having scanned, as some places will be more sensitive than others, and also on the resolution of the scan. I think the “revs” you can feel are related to the density of the scanning. This is hardly a scientific analysis, but I would imagine the vibration is greatest when it’s doing lots and lots of little thin slices (don’t worry - nothing’s really being sliced - only on the pictures). There seems to be part of every cycle when it does that.

I don’t know if MS symptoms are capable of amplifying it in any way. When I had the relapse (to date, still my biggest) that led to my diagnosis, one of the symptoms was buzzing. Certain things would aggravate the buzzing, and this included (bizarrely) sitting over the wheel arch on the bus.

It seemed that if I was in a situation where I was exposed to persistent external vibrations, it could aggravate the internal ones.



Had exactly the same but put it down to the scanner being new (newer than the last I had) had really bad back afterwards and was very flushed, which I put down to the rubber pads/guards they use now that they never did before,I’ve had plenty before and never had any issues, but it was much quieter although I have been known to fall asleep, even in the noisier ones.

its very odd , and how you have described your experiance does resonate ( excuse the pun ) with me.

i wondered if had anything to do with my mental health , me being very sensitive to everything as i seem to be very aware of my body and enviroment ( have bpd, depression and anxiety)

i dont think private scanners are any different than nhs ones to be honest apart from the staff maybe less stressed at bupa lol.

im just suprised how i found nothing about this issue on the internet but coming here at least 3 have come forward.

ms is so strange and a struggle

i wish you both love and good times.

lets see iff we get any more replies , should be interesting


p.s ive never understood how anyone can doze off in one of those things although i was fairly relaxed after taking half a temezepam but soon shaken to my seces in the scanner by the agressive vibration and back jerking

Yes Moomoo,I fell sleep in the noisier older one but not the nice new vibrating one! I can’t usually sleep anywhere but my bed, not on trains, planes or automobiles! only MRI scanners and the dentist’s chair I cant even sleep on the sofa!

Alison x

I always end up nodding off in the MRI. I think it’s sort of hypnotic. And yet at home I have to use earplugs to sleep, can’t sleep through any noise, not even the cat purring (sometimes he snores)! I’ve never experienced real vibrations, it sometimes almost feels like vibration but not quite. I think I’m up to about 10 MRI scans now!!


For me, the strange sensations felt like a specific and definite physical response to something that the scanner was doing for a short portion of the scan. The feeling turned on and off again in a very clearly defined way. But that is just my experience, of course.

Mind you, I am not sure that the divide between the mental and physical realms is as clear-cut as all that, so who knows? My perception was that the strange feeling was caused by the scanner rather than by an extra sensitivity generated by a mental state. However, the person doing the perceiving is not always best-placed to tell what is caused by what! Strongly-felt perceptions are not always the whole story. I think that this one is likely to remain a mystery.


Actually Radio waves can interfere with some peoples thinking processes. I couldnt listen to the actual radio for about 8 years… no music. Finally started creating my own and working my way back to it.