MRI Scan For Neck Pain

What Is An MRI Scan?

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image) Scan is a medical technology that has revolutionized the management of people with neck pain.
It is often considered the single best imaging modality for diagnosing the precise cause of the problem and gold standard to help with planning appropriate treatment for spine problems.


What Causes Neck Pain?

There are many possible causes of neck pain, aches and stiffness.
Some conditions such muscle sprains are relatively safe and can often naturally recover within a week with simple treatments such as rest, plasters and medications. Other conditions such as cervical spondylosis (also known as spinal degeneration) , slipped discs, arm radiculopathy, nerve compression, spinal infections and even tumours can have much more severe consequences if timely appropriate treatments are not provided.

How Is Neck Pain Treated?

A common cost-effective approach taken by many doctors, physiotherapists and traditional healthcare providers is to use a diagnosis based on talking to a patient and doing a medical examination.
Based on this diagnosis, a trial of therapy is carried out.
If successful, the patient feels better quickly and the need to spend money on further investigations such as an X-ray or MRI can often be avoided.

If symptoms of pain, aches, stiffness do not improve after 2 weeks of treatment, a review of the diagnosis and imaging such as an X-ray or MRI should be considered.

Effective non-invasive treatments such as Physiotherapy, Shockwave Therapy and Radiofrequency can then be chosen depending on on the most appropriate option.

Choosing between an X-ray and an MRI

While X-rays are a commonly used cheaper scan, they provide much less information compared to an MRI for neck pain.
An X-ray can show some information regarding the general bone structure but is not able to provide much information regarding the discs, muscles, ligaments and nerves of the spine.
It is important to note that when a neck X-ray is reported by a doctor to be “normal” or “OK for your age”, it may miss out the presence of severe and possibly dangerous conditions.
An MRI is by far more precise and useful to establish the cause of neck pain.

Why Do People Delay Doing Cervical Spine (Neck) MRIs?

A neck MRI is a very safe investigation and does not involve radiation associated with X-rays.
It is often the preferred scan for someone with severe or persistent neck pain.
The main reason holding people and even doctors from requesting cervical MRIs is the misconception that they cost too much.
While a quick check with some private imaging centres will likely reveal the costs of an MRI to be well over a thousand Singapore dollars, there are often ways to reduce the cash involved.

Cervical Spine Neck MRI Scan

3 Ways To Reduce Your MRI Costs

  1. Singaporean patients may visit a polyclinic for a referral to a restructured hospital. If the doctor in the restructured hospital agrees to order an MRI for your neck, the government subsidy given will significantly reduce the cost involved.
  2. Many insurance plans will cover the costs of your neck MRIs. Company health insurance plans, personal accident insurance plans, and even integrated shield plans that many Singaporeans have bought using their medisave can cover the costs of an MRI scan.
  3. Medisave is also an option to help people pay for their MRI scans. Depending on your medical condition, it it possible to claim up to $300 or $600 of medisave for your MRI scans.

In view of the many options available, an MRI scan should be considered for a timely precise diagnosis of the cause of a person’s neck pain.
A delayed diagnosis can allow many conditions to deteriorate, sometimes to the point of requiring neck surgery.
It will also prevent you from getting the most effective treatment, result in unnecessarily prolonged suffering, as well as limit your work and social life.


Neck Pain MRI Package @ $700

  1. Pre-MRI Consultation and Assessment

  2. MRI Cervical Spine

  3. Post-MRI Consultation

If you are unsure about your condition, simply call us at +65 6732 2397

or leave a message below for Dr Tan to discuss a customized non-invasive solution for you.


Ask a Question

Are you suffering from Pain?
Tell us about your condition and we will help find your best treatment options.

The 7 Day Pain Recovery Program

Are you unsure about your medical conditions? Or frustrated by multiple options that did not work?

Dr Tan and his team of physiotherapists have designed a home based self management program you can try. (It's FREE)

Learn practical tips about:

  • How diet and nutrition can be essential for a full recovery
  • How exercises can be helpful and why they sometimes make you worse
  • Simple self treatments that work
  • Common mistakes that could be preventing you from getting better
  • New clinical solutions for difficult medical conditions

Find out how your pain can be more effectively treated.

For enquiries, Call +65 6732 2397or

painrelief clinicOur Doctor

Dr. Terence Tan

MBBS(Singapore), GDFM


Pain Association of Singapore,

Singapore Medical Association

acute painCall for Appointments

+65 6732 2397

persistent painOur Location

350 Orchard Road

#10-00 Shaw House

Medical Suites @ Orchard

Singapore 238 868