Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

MRI for Migraine Help: When Is It Necessary?

MRI for Migraine

When a physician recommends an MRI for migraine care and diagnostics, call (718) 400-6369 to schedule your appointment.

Every headache or migraine will not necessitate an MRI. However, your doctor may review your symptoms and medical history to find it advisable. Other situations require swift care and scheduling, like a post-car accident MRI.

Brooklyn Open MRI provides top-quality diagnostic imaging to citizens in Brooklyn, NY, and surrounding areas. Our experience helps us recognize some of the most common reasons an MRI for migraine treatment may become necessary.

MRI Basics You Need To Know

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, which uses magnets and radio waves to produce an internal image of your body. It may also use contrast dye for different body parts, including your head. Unlike x-ray imaging, MRIs contain no radiation risk.

MRIs and CT scans can both create imagery of the brain. However, MRI brain scans tend to view more than CT scans, like the back portion of the brain or the spine at the neck level.

An MRI cannot precisely diagnose migraine attacks. Instead, it can rule out other causes for severe headaches, like tumors, post-accident fluid buildup, or stroke-related scarring. The doctor can then assure you that those underlying conditions do not bring on your headaches.

Some MRIs may show white spots in the brain of migraine patients. These brightened spots stem from inflamed lesions called white matter hyperintensities or WMHs. While they do not cause migraines, they can be a visible mark of a migraine-related condition.

However, WMHs can appear in people without severe headaches or migraines. Previous brain trauma or aging can cause inflamed lesions. These lesions generally do not negatively affect brain health.

Reasons Your Physician May Suggest an MRI

Your medical history plays a crucial role in a doctor’s decision to schedule an MRI for patients with migraine symptoms. Things like car crashes, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), and neurological symptoms combined with migraine attacks raise red flags. Other signs you may need an MRI for migraine treatment include several headache symptom changes:

  • Headaches that change with movement, such as standing, sitting, or lying down
  • New headaches in people 50 years and older
  • Head pain that does not stop
  • Increased intensity or frequency of the headaches
  • Sudden extreme migraine attacks
  • Aura—nausea, light sensitivity—that lasts longer than an hour
  • Body weakness, numbness, or tingling alongside the headache
  • Any headache not following typical diagnostic patterns 

Be sure to contact your primary care physician upon any headache changes for proper treatment. It is vital to rule out harmful underlying conditions from your migraine diagnosis. 

If your doctor suggests an MRI for migraine treatment, visit Brooklyn Open MRI. We have serviced Brooklyn citizens since 1994 and continue to provide top-quality treatment with clear images. Our radiology facility accepts most insurance plans, including no-fault, PIP (auto accidents), and workers’ compensation.

You can get help scheduling your appointment today at (718) 400-6369. Same-day appointments may be available.

For further reading, check our website to find out which insurance we accept. Or you can find out if you need an MRI for back pain after a car accident.