U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 21-year-old member asked:

This is the first time i've hadlow back pain. will i have to have x-rays on my first visit to the doctor?

4 doctor answers17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tasleyma Sattar
Specializes in Family Medicine
No: The recommendations for treatment of low back pain involve identifying a trigger and conservative treatment. Things like anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, heating pads or ice packs, and stretching are first line therapy. If your pain fails to improve then an xray would be considered. Of course, if you have numbness or loss of bladder/bowel control you will most definitely need imaging.
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Family Medicine 32 years experience
No: Generally an x-ray is not necessary for your first visit for back pain. The exception might be if you had trauma to your back (car accident, fall from a ladder, etc.) the great majority of the time only conservative measures are needed for back pain, such as anti-inflammatory medications, rest, stretching, and physical therapy. Consult your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
Dr. Charlene Sojico
Pediatrics 42 years experience
most of the time,it is related to posture or carrying heavy backpacks and the like, or pulled muscle
Sep 26, 2011
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Family Medicine 32 years experience
Provided original answer
Sep 26, 2011
Dr. Stephen Saponaro
Specializes in Radiology
No: If your doctor determines that you need imaging to better understand your back pain, i strongly recommend getting an MRI rather than xray. Mri is much better at finding the cause.
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management 18 years experience
Depends: Every person with back pain presents differently. if needed the Dr. will order them.
Last updated Sep 28, 2016


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.