No, MRI scans are not painful. MRI’s are non-invasive procedures, meaning there is nothing physical done to the body that could produce any pain. While MRI scanning can be noisy (very noisy!) and the machines can be claustrophobic, there is nothing about the scanning process that can cause any pain, unless there is some sort of mishap, and those would be rare. If you have claustrophobia, check the machine out prior to the procedure. In many cases, you slide inside a very small space and that can be frightening for those with claustrophobic issues, although there are MRI machines that are not the slide-in type, which can be a better option.