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Cervical Spine MRI Scan from £199

A cervical spine MRI scan can help detect a variety of conditions in the neck and upper back area,
including problems with the soft tissues within the spinal column, such as the spinal cord, nerves, and disks.

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Introduction to Cervical Spine Health

Waking up with a stiff neck or experiencing a sudden twinge of pain when turning your head is not just uncomfortable—it could be indicative of underlying health issues. In the UK, a significant proportion of the population reports experiencing back or neck pain annually, which can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain affecting daily activities.

The Role of the Cervical Spine

The cervical spine, comprising the top seven vertebrae (C1-C7) of the spinal column, plays a pivotal role in supporting your head and facilitating a range of movements. Each vertebra forms part of a complex structure that includes nerves, muscles, ligaments, and intervertebral discs—all enclosed within a protective spinal canal.

Why Consider a Cervical Spine MRI?

Persistent or severe neck pain can be a symptom of various conditions that may require detailed imaging to diagnose effectively. A cervical spine MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that provides high-resolution images of the neck’s internal structures, including:

  • Vertebrae (C1 - C7)
  • Spinal cord and nerve paths
  • Intervertebral discs
  • Surrounding soft tissues like muscles and ligaments

Common Conditions Diagnosed with MRI

The detailed images obtained from a cervical spine MRI can help healthcare providers diagnose several conditions:

  • Herniated Discs: Protrusions or bulges in the discs that can press on nerves.
  • Cervical Stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal that houses the spinal cord and nerve roots.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: Wear and tear of the discs causing pain and reduced flexibility.
  • Spinal Infections or Tumors: Uncommon but serious conditions affecting spinal health.
  • Pinched Nerves: Compression of nerves leading to pain and neurological symptoms.

Preparing for a Cervical Spine MRI

An MRI scan is straightforward but requires some preparation:

  • Medical History Review: Essential for identifying any potential risks or contraindications. Inform the technician about any metal implants, pacemakers, or previous surgeries.
  • Remove Metal Objects: Jewelry, watches, and other metal items must be removed to avoid interference with the MRI's magnetic field.
  • Clothing: You may be asked to change into a hospital gown to prevent any clothing snaps or zippers from affecting the scan quality.

What to Expect During the MRI Procedure During the MRI:

  • You will lie on a motorized table that slides into the MRI machine.
  • The procedure typically lasts between 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the specifics of what needs to be examined.
  • It is crucial to remain still during the scan to ensure clear images.
  • Some patients may receive a contrast agent to enhance the visibility of certain tissues.

After the MRI Scan

Post-scan procedures include:

  • A review of the images to ensure they are clear.
  • You can resume normal activities immediately unless a sedative was used.
  • Results are typically discussed in a follow-up appointment with your physician, who will interpret the MRI findings in conjunction with your symptoms and medical history.

Cost Considerations and Scheduling

The cost of a private cervical spine MRI in the UK can vary, with prices generally starting at around £199, which is often lower than the national average. Private MRI scans offer the advantage of reduced waiting times, with appointments available much sooner than through typical NHS channels.

The Importance of Early Diagnosis

Identifying the cause of neck pain early is crucial for effective treatment. Delays can lead to worsening symptoms and more complex health issues. An MRI not only helps in diagnosing the cause of pain but also assists in planning appropriate treatment, which may include physical therapy, medication, or surgery.


If you're experiencing persistent neck or back pain, a cervical spine MRI can provide crucial insights into the underlying causes, helping to guide effective treatment. Opting for a private MRI can significantly reduce wait times, allowing for quicker diagnosis and treatment. Don’t let pain hold you back from enjoying life—considering an MRI could be the first step towards recovery.


Our expert clinical team will guide you through the process, with a 1-1 consultation, referral, and digital imaging report included in the price of your scan booking.