17 doctors weighed in:

This is the first time i've had low back pain. Will I have to have x-rays on my first visit to the doctor?

17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Family Medicine
11 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Kenneth Cheng
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Thank
2 comments
Dr. Charlene Sojico
most of the time,it is related to posture or carrying heavy backpacks and the like, or pulled muscle
Dr. Tasleyma Sattar
Family Medicine
6 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Tasleyma Sattar
Dr. Tasleyma Sattar
Thank
2 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Stephen Saponaro
Dr. Stephen Saponaro
Thank
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Depends

Every person with back pain presents differently.
if needed the Dr. will order them.

In brief: Depends

Every person with back pain presents differently.
if needed the Dr. will order them.
Dr. Qamar Khan
Dr. Qamar Khan
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Vikram Patel
Board Certified,
33 years in practice
951K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors