MRI Head & Spine

Hi guys,

I've been diagnosed for 2 years in December after having a couple of seizures (now diagnosed with epilepsy) and an MRI/lumber puncture to find the cause. I've recently had a relapse in the form of vertigo and tingling in my arm (couple of fingers feeling the a bit numb) which has been present for 2-3 weeks. 

My consultant has put me in for an MRI head + spine - I've only had an MRI head before. I'm just curious as to why they scan my spine as well? My guess is to see if theres any nerve damage?

Also does anyone know how long approx they last? When I had the head scan I almost fell asleep in there.

Cheers, Craig. 

Hi Craig,

Yep, MS causes lesions in the central nervous system (CNS).  Your spinal cord is part of the CNS, so lesions can occur there, as well as in your brain.  That's the reason for scanning both.

When I had the lot done (brain & full spinal cord), I think it took about 45 minutes, but some here have reported a lot longer.

I don't know exactly what dictates it.  Maybe the settings used.

I thought 45 minutes was plenty, but don't be too concerned if yours is longer.


Hi Craig,

My MRI of head and spine took about 45 minutes, just has Tina has said. I almost fell asleep whilst having it done.

Hope it all goes well for you.


Well I'd better sleep well the night before then! happy

It doesn’t matter if you fell asleep, at all. You don’t have to be awake for it to work properly.



i was diagnosed 6 years ago by an mri.  it showed the main part of my lesions were in my spinal cord.  this is the area that mainly affects balance and mobility, i have been told, but not sure how right that is!!!

it does last about 45 mins, i was given headphones with the radio on - tough luck if i didn't like that channel!!!!

good luck with it - and don't worry - better to know i think.

Lisa cat

I've been having balance issues since I had my seizures, though my balance had always been dodgy it's gotten worse. I ran into work this morning and when I'd finished my vision was all over the place! I'm fine whilst doing it but 

as soon as I finish is when it kicks in and takes 5 mins or so to settle down. Also my hand/arm feel worse until I've stopped exercising. 

Hi Craig

My vision goes blurry when I jog too, also get increased sensations of tingling , buzzing and numb patches while running and when I stop. This is due to the spinal lesions, or so Im told.  Best wishes Heather

Hi Heather,

Thanks for the info. Always good to see someone has the same as me! :-) 


and me!! i didnt know it was a sympton but before i had ms i used to jog and after about 10 mins my eyes would blur and i couldn't see!! my dr (bless his heart), at the time, said it was blood pressure!! Even now if i get really stressed my eyes and legs are the first things to go!!

good excuse to give up jogging!!

lisa happyflower