How is back pain diagnosed?

Diagnosis of Back pain. In most cases, your doctor will only need to discuss your symptoms and examine you. Your doctor is likely to refer you for more tests only if your pain lasts longer than six weeks, or if he or she suspects there is some underlying cause of the pain.

These tests might include:

• X-rays
• CT (computerised tomography) scans
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans
• A myelogram (a special kind of X-ray)
• Blood tests

Your psychological well-being can also play a role in back pain. If your condition turns out to be chronic, your doctor may refer you for psychological and social assessment.

Related Questions

How is back pain diagnosed objectively?

By a good evaluation. It should start with a thorough history and physical exam. Next, imaging tests such as plain x-rays of the spine and when needed a MRI and/or ct scan will usually be more than adequate. Sometimes, laboratory teats may be needed . Read more...

How is low back pain diagnosed?

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. Read more...
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. Read more...
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. 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. A good physical exam and possibly imaging can help diagnose the cause of low back pain. Read more...