How is low back pain diagnosed?

Diagnosis. Exact direction of injury mechanism and symptom constellation suggests which body part of low back & pelvis to examine. Best examination is one that tests each tissue of the body part, i.e., bone, joint, ligament, tendon, muscle, and myofascia; as body part functions in time & space. The direction of gravity acting on body masses stimulates pain transducers & abnormal joint range of motion.
History & Physical. The best method to diagnose the etiology of back pain is a thorough history and physical exam (h&p). Listening carefully to the patient's history and chief complaint can help the clinician focus their efforts. A comprehensive orthopedic and neuro exam can also help pin point anatomic sources of pain and rule out any neurologic compromise. Imaging studies (xr/mri/ct) can help confirm the diagnosis.
Several options. Back pain is usually related to arthritic changes to the spine. Sometime back pain can be related to infections, cancer, fractures, or even other organs such as the kidney, bladder, etc. A good physical exam and possibly imaging can help diagnose the cause of low back pain.
See below. The first steps are a good history of the back pain, where and when it occurs, how did it start. Questions about family history of a back pain. Then physical examination, then possibly imaging such as xray , ct or mri. After that the doctor will suggest the most likely reason for the back pain and suggest a specific treatment or treatments.

Related Questions

How do physicians diagnose low-back pain?

Exam and imaging. Low back pain is what you feel. What we diagnose is the cause of the pain. Most of us over the age of 50, and many younger, have back malformations that can cause pain. Some diagnoses are obvious to the trained ear, such as "my back hurts here and the pain radiates to there". Others need xrays or mri's so we can "see" inside you. See a trained specialist to get a diagnosis - before treatment. Read more...
Depends on training. The avg md has basic training in musculoskeletal problems like back pain.History gives them clues, but there is strong reliance on technology to make the diagnosis for them.If the cause is too subtle for xray/mri to see, then a generic (useless) diagnosis is given.A good history & physical, though, incl osteopathic hands-on exam can often find such problems which can then be fixed by manipulation. Read more...
Patient history. "listen to the patient ant he will tell you the diagnosis." osler. The most important part of any medical visit in my opinion is the history taking. The physical examination and auxiliary exams are also very important. For back pain, x rays and mris are very often helpful, but not always necessary. A good doctor will start with taking an adequate history and physical, moving on based on findings. Read more...
Many Possibilities. Depending on how long it's been going on, i would consider an evaluation by a spine specialist. Using imaging studies and examination it can be determined. Sometimes it could be a muscle imbalance, early onset arthritis or scoliosis. Also could be a pinched nerve/herniated disc. Either way it might be good to figure it out and get appropriate treatment. Read more...

Is low back pain common with ic?

No, but it happens. Assuming ic stands for interstitial cystitis - yes, back pain can be a symptom. It's not common, but each person is different. If your bladder is full, the posterior part of the bladder sits back enough that you could get referred pain to your lower back. We see this in patients who have urinary tract infections. Read more...
Possibly. Low back pain/interstitial cystitis (ic) not unexpected. Ic is symptom constellation without known cause & diagnosis of exclusion; anybody's theory as good as the next. Imo inveterate urinary frequency that sets ic apart is from autonomic neural impingement within presacral plexus; as i noted in females with symptomatic scroiliac joint (sij) disorder. I saw ic resolve in woman after sij fusion. Read more...

Is low back pain just before orgasm common?

very unusual. You should discuss with your doctor, an examination and possible further testing maybe warranted to assure that a problem does not exist. It could be normal but i would like to make sure no underlying pathology exists. Talk to your doctor. Read more...

Is low-back pain curable? How long does it take?

Yes - 2-4 Weeks. Low-back pain can result from a variety of conditions. The most common reasons are muscular sprains and strains which take about 2-4 weeks to heal. Many other things (such as urinary tract infections, hip arthritis, tumors, ovarian issues, etc). Can cause back pain as well so if it persists, seek medical attention. Read more...
Yes. Yes & most get better without treatment. Sometimes, back pain can result from tumor or infection in spine but even that can be treated. However, pain in the back may have its cause elsewhere like a kidney stone or infection, GI issue like ulcer or vascular problem like an aneurysm . If a girl, reproductive organ issues can be source of the pain. Again, most are curable & better over weeks. Read more...

Is low back pain a clear indication that I have problem with my kidneys? My crea is normal but in the kub utz, the finding is "parenchymal disease"!

Kidney function. Low back pain is the second most common outpatient complaint in this country. I can't tell you what is causing your lumbago without taking at least a careful history. If your creatinine and GFR are normal, this means that you don't have any indication of medical renal disease. 'parenchymal disease' is very vague. It could mean that inflammation or structural abnormality of the tissue is suspected. Read more...

Low back pain?

Strain. Could be strain, kidney stone, herniated disk among other reasons. See a doctor. Read more...
Back pain. The back pain can be caused by muscle strain, spinal stenosis, ruptured disc, nerve impingement ... If your back pain persists, i recommend you seeing a doctor for evaluation. Read more...
Need to be examined. Low back pain can be due to a number of underlying issues from muscle to discs to joints. Your dr can examine you and determine what is causing the pain and they may recommend medications, pt, x-ray, etc. Read more...
Several options. Back pain is usually related to arthritic changes to the spine. Sometime back pain can be related to infections, cancer, fractures, or even other organs such as the kidney, bladder, etc. If your pain lasts greater than 2 weeks I would see your physician. Read more...
Stretch/Rest. Rest, stretching, learning core strengthening exercises and using nsaids to help are the best ways to help back pain. Otherwise, if it persists see your doctor for other options. Read more...
Underlying cause. I am a functional movement specialist. Most cases I see are due to sitters disease or gait (ex; foot position). But you need to identify the origin and rule out more serious causes. Any neurologic issues like numbness in the legs, no muscle weakness, no fever, no urinary pain, fever, genital discharge, acute trauma, insect bites, etc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TO8Il3vdxQ. Read more...
Low Back Pain. Most LBP is not serious and goes away with time, physio, and simple analgesia. Warning signs include numbness, weakness, urinary or defecating problems, or fever. If you are older or have a cancer that is concerning also. There could be abdominal causes or kidney problems also. If any concerns or symptoms persist you should see your doctor. Read more...
Low back pain. About 8 in 10 people have one or more bouts of low back pain. In most cases, it is not due to a serious disease or serious back problem, and the exact cause of the pain is not clear. The usual advice is to keep active and do normal activities and pain killers. In most cases, the pain disappears within six weeks. http://patient.info/health/nonspecific-lower-back-pain-in-adults. Read more...

I have a low back pain?

Low back pain. Is a common complaint. Most people in the world will experience low back pain at least once during their lives. The good news is that this condition is treatable if diagnosed properly. Back pain often develops without a specific cause. Rec.: see pain management specialist for further evaluation and treatment. Read more...
Depends.... Very general complaint and in fact #1 reason for disability worldwide is back pain. It is reassuring that most low back pain is not dangerous or serious. However, if accompanied by other symptoms such as leg pain or bowel/bladder changes or not going away after a few weeks of ice, heat, rest and anti-inflammatories you should see your doctor for a workup. Read more...
Several options. Back pain is usually related to arthritic changes to the spine. Sometime back pain can be related to infections, cancer, fractures, or even other organs such as the kidney, bladder, etc. If your pain lasts greater than 2 weeks I would see your physician. Read more...
Education/exam. Most cases I see are due to sitters disease or gait (ex; foot position). But you need to identify the origin and rule out more serious causes. Any neurologic issues like numbness in the legs, no muscle weakness, no fever, no urinary pain, fever, genital discharge, acute trauma, insect bites, etc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TO8Il3vdxQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6SXiDCMP3E. Read more...
Low Back Pain. Most LBP is not serious and goes away with time, physio, and simple analgesia. Warning signs include numbness, weakness, urinary or defecating problems, or fever. If you are older or have a cancer that is concerning also. If any concerns or symptoms persist you should see your doctor. Read more...

Why chronic low back pain?

What's low back pain. Unfortunately that is way too vague a question. There are probably several hundred causes of low back pain. Important questions include is it only back pain, does it go down the legs, and when does it occur. Read more...
Back pain. The back pain can be caused by muscle strain, spinal stenosis, ruptured disc, nerve impingement ... Treatment varies depends on the cause of the pain. If your pain persists, you should seek help from a health care provider. You might benefit from a comprehensive evaluation and treatment. Read more...
Spine Pain Options. This chronic pain in the distribution as you suggested is the result of an irritated nerve or facet joints or other injury typically in the lumbar spine (low back) which are caused by herniated disks, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease, etc requiring further evaluation by a spine specialist and may be candidate for facet injections/radiofrequency ablation and epidural steroid injection. Read more...
Several options. Back pain is usually related to arthritic changes to the spine. Sometime back pain can be related to infections, cancer, fractures, or even other organs such as the kidney, bladder, etc. If your pain lasts greater than 2 weeks I would see your physician. Read more...