An MRI of the neck (cervical spine) can be very useful to determine various conditions of the cartilage and bone structure resulting from injury, disease, or ageing by imaging bones, soft tissue, nerves and disks.

A neck MRI scan is performed to take images, also called, “slices”, of the neck area. In effect, it takes scanned images of soft tissues between the neck and nape, including the cervical spine or the topmost section of the spine which connects the spinal column to the head.

An MRI scan of neck may be ordered by a doctor under the following circumstances:

  • Chronic neck pain that does not go away
  • Presence of constant pain that affects the shoulders, arms, and legs
  • Experiencing pain after performing an exercise or other strenuous activities
  • Prior positive diagnosis for certain diseases, including multiple sclerosis
  • Patient involvement in an accident leading to injury and trauma
  • Pain on the neck that is accompanied by weakness on one side of the body
  • Random onset or continuous severe and chronic muscle pain

More specifically for the neck MRI, however, cross-sections of the neck may betaken to permit a closer examination of the thyroid, larynx, parotid glands, and other structures specifically found in this area. An MRI scan for neck pain will try to establish symmetry in throat structures, as well as reveal abnormal growths, leaked fluids, and normal size of anatomical structures on the neck.

In many cases, an MRI neck and head scan or a combined MRI neck and shoulder scan are referred by the doctor together.

What does neck MRI show ?

In addition to the signs and symptoms listed above, a combined scan of head and neck may also be requested when the doctor suspects any of the following underlying factors to be causing pain and discomfort on the neck, head, and shoulders:

  • Abnormal curvature of the spine
  • Misaligned spine
  • Tumours on the thyroid, or pituitary glands
  • Abnormal growths on the sinuses
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Bleeding of the brain
  • Leaked spinal fluid
  • Arthritis
  • Joint disorders
  • Misplaced joints
  • Fractured or herniated discs
  • Sciatica
  • Swelling of or tumours in the lymph nodes
  • Degeneration of bones, disc, joints, and cartilages in these parts
  • Spinal cord compression or injury
  • Spine infection or infection of structures and soft tissues located in these areas
  • Congenital conditions, including structural defects of the spine

Neck MRI cost UK starts at £200, when the scan is undertaken in private clinics. The cost is roughly comparable to the NHS.  Neck MRI cost can sometimes be more expensive depending on the MRI scanning centre, the number of slices requested by the doctor, whether gadolinium (the contrast fluid that is intravenously administered before an MRI to improve the clarity of images) is required, how soon your results are needed, and if the neck scan will be combined with other scans, such as that of the head or shoulders. Always validate your medical insurance coverage with your healthcare provider to help save on cost. Take note that, depending on the condition being ruled in or ruled out by your physician, you may be required to take other diagnostic tests. In any case, remember to be completely honest about any condition you have, including pregnancy or if you are planning to get pregnant, any medication you are taking, and if you have implants. Your honesty and thoroughness will help ensure that you and your doctor can minimize risks while improving the success of your diagnosis and the treatment that will follow, if necessary.




£199for neck

  • Same-day appointment
    (subject to availability)
  • Bring a chaperone (family/friend)
  • Bring music of your choice (CD)
  • *Free* Radiologist Report Within 7 days


£249for neck

  • Same-day MRI appointment
    (subject to availability)
  • Bring a chaperone (family/friend)
  • Bring music of your choice (CD)
  • Sub-Specialist Radiologist Report
    Within 2 working days

    Why do I need a sub-specialist radiologist report?

    A report by a sub-specialist means that the radiologist reporting on your scan is knowledgeable in the body area you are having scanned.


£299for neck

  • Same-day MRI appointment
    (subject to availability)
  • Bring a chaperone (family/friend)
  • Bring music of your choice (CD)
  • Double Specialist Radiologist Report
    Within 2 working days

    Why do I need a double specialist radiologist report?

    A double report means that your MRI results will be examined by 2 consultant radiologists, who will compile 2 individual reports with their findings. This is especially helpful if you are looking for a second opinion.