7 doctors weighed in:
Why is an X-ray not good for back pain?
7 doctors weighed in

Dr. Robert McMurtrie
Pain Management
4 doctors agree
In brief: Looks at bone only
Xrays show only bone.
A fracture is an unlikely cause of back pain. There can be several reasons for back pain, like lumbar disc inflammation with or without nerve impingment, facet joint irritation, sacroiliac joint irritation, muscle strain. A thorough physical exam and diagnostic studies will help determine what treatment will be best depending on your diagnosis.

In brief: Looks at bone only
Xrays show only bone.
A fracture is an unlikely cause of back pain. There can be several reasons for back pain, like lumbar disc inflammation with or without nerve impingment, facet joint irritation, sacroiliac joint irritation, muscle strain. A thorough physical exam and diagnostic studies will help determine what treatment will be best depending on your diagnosis.
Dr. Robert McMurtrie
Dr. Robert McMurtrie
Thank
Dr. Bennett Werner
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
3 doctors agree
In brief: Xrays for back pain
X-rays are excellent for seeing bones but don't image the disks well.
Most people with back pain of less than 6 weeks duration don't require xrays because they will get better with time alone. An MRI which is very expensive is the test of choice if needed because it can visualize the culprits: pinched nerve roots and disks with accuracy. It should be reserved for intractable symptoms.

In brief: Xrays for back pain
X-rays are excellent for seeing bones but don't image the disks well.
Most people with back pain of less than 6 weeks duration don't require xrays because they will get better with time alone. An MRI which is very expensive is the test of choice if needed because it can visualize the culprits: pinched nerve roots and disks with accuracy. It should be reserved for intractable symptoms.
Dr. Bennett Werner
Dr. Bennett Werner
Thank
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