Do confined spaces trigger a rush of fear, making your heart race and breath shorten?

Claustrophobia affects millions worldwide, instilling a paralyzing fear of enclosed spaces. For those battling this anxiety, routine medical procedures like MRI scans can become harrowing experiences.

However, the emergence of Upright MRI scanners has been a game-changer in medical imaging technology, offering a promising solution for patients who suffer from claustrophobia. These innovative scanners depart from the traditional supine (lying down) MRI setup, providing a more open and patient-friendly environment that can alleviate anxiety and discomfort.


Understanding the impact of Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia isn’t just a simple fear; it can lead to heightened anxiety, panic attacks, and in extreme cases, it can deter individuals from seeking essential medical care. Conventional MRI machines, where patients are enclosed within a narrow tube-like structure, can exacerbate these feelings, making the procedure challenging or impossible for some.

The fear associated with traditional MRI machines is understandable. The enclosed space, coupled with the loud and sometimes jarring noises, can create a distressing experience, especially for those prone to claustrophobia. Consequently, this fear often leads to the avoidance of necessary medical investigations, compromising proper diagnosis and treatment.


Enter Upright MRI Scanners

Upright MRI scanners offer a remarkable alternative by allowing patients to undergo imaging while comfortably seated or standing, rather than lying down in a confined space. This design variation significantly reduces feelings of confinement and can alleviate the anxiety associated with traditional MRI machines.

The open nature of these scanners provides a wider field of view, allowing patients to see their surroundings and maintain visual contact with medical staff throughout the procedure. This increased visibility and ability to move (within limits) during the scan contribute to a sense of control, empowering patients and reducing anxiety levels.


Further Benefits of Upright MRI scanners

Beyond addressing claustrophobia, upright MRI scanners offer several additional advantages:

  • Enhanced Diagnostic Accuracy: The ability to scan patients in weight-bearing positions (sitting or standing) allows for imaging that replicates real-life conditions, providing more accurate assessments for certain medical conditions, especially those related to the spine and joints.
  • Improved Patient Experience: Patients who may struggle with lying down due to respiratory issues, pain or discomfort can benefit from the flexibility of Upright MRI scanners, making the procedure more tolerable and accessible.
  • Pediatric and Geriatric Applications: Children and elderly patients, who might find it challenging to remain still for extended periods, can benefit from the reduced anxiety and increased comfort offered by Upright MRI scans.


Upright MRI scanners stand as a beacon of hope for individuals grappling with claustrophobia, offering a more patient-friendly alternative to conventional imaging methods, allowing them to confront their fears and embrace the freedom of a more accommodating environment.

For Upright MRI, this is clearly evident following the positive reviews they’re constantly receiving from their claustrophobic patients, including this latest review below;

‘’I would like to point out these incredibly amazing staff members at the Fitzrovia centre for their outstanding ability to engage with their patients in such a professional, positive, humane and accommodating way. This service is to be highly commended. I would also like to suggest that this specific type of scanner is one which I would highly recommend for easing the stress for people suffering with claustrophobia. A major THANK YOU to all at this health centre for my amazing experience!’’ Cheryl, October 2023.


So, if the fear of enclosed spaces has hindered your medical journey, take heart – here at Upright MRI, we are here to transform your experience, empowering you to stride confidently towards better health and well-being.

Being the first to allow patients to self-refer for an MRI, we offer competitive prices, fast assessments, patient satisfaction, and comfort. Working with reputable healthcare professionals, we accept private or NHS patient referrals.

Contact us and let us take care of your health.

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