Claustrophobia is defined as an overwhelming sense of anxiety when you are enclosed in small or dark places. Even though MRI machines are far larger and open than they once were, having a spinal MRI will still mean you will be slowly inserted into a tubular-shaped machine while the necessary imagery is recorded of your spinal column. If you struggle with claustrophobia, the whole idea can sound like one of your worst fears. To help you get through your spinal MRI without having an all-out anxiety attack, remember these helpful relaxation tips that may help.
Consider listening to music while getting your MRI.
The sounds inside of the MRI machine can be a little alarming, especially if you are already a little freaked out about being in an enclosed space. Therefore, having music to listen to while inside can help you better relax and focus your attention elsewhere. The radiologist will typically allow you to wear specially designed headphones that they provide, but if there is something specific you want to listen to, you will need to bring along a CD most of the time. You will not be allowed to take your own electronic devices in because they can interfere with the imaging process.
Try using aromatherapy to help you feel more calm.
It is a proven fact that certain smells can trigger receptors in the brain and help you feel more calm. For example, people who have problems falling asleep often use lavender essential oil or vanilla aromas to induce a more relaxed state at bedtime. You can do the same just before your MRI. Dab a few drops of relaxing essential oils on the insides of your elbows or just at the base of your ears so the aroma will be present while doing the MRI.
Ask your doctor about medicinal options or take an over-the-counter sleep aid.
For some people who suffer from claustrophobia, the basic relaxation techniques simply will not help them get through the process of getting a spinal MRI. If you have severe claustrophobia, there may be medicinal options available, so make sure you talk to your doctor. You can take a mild over-the-counter sleep aid or have your doctor prescribe you something that will help keep you calm. The medication can then be taken just before your MRI appointment and the radiologist will wait for the medication to take effect before they get you inside of the MRI machine. Contact a company like Omega Diagnostic Imaging PC to learn more.