Diagnosis of Back Pain

Diagnosis of Back Pain

We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

Diagnosis of Back Pain

Diagnosis of back pain is mainly done to determine the extent of the problem and to find out the cause of back pain. To find out the extent of the problem, your doctor will do a thorough physical examination and check your ability to sit, stand, walk, lift objects and lift your feet etc. You may also be asked to rate the pain and problems associated with back pain on a scale of zero to 10. These assessments can help find the scale of pain and problem associated with it, where the pain comes from, how painful is the problem, how much you can move or bend/rotate before your pain force you to stop. Physical examination and thorough history of the problem of back pain can also find if you have muscle spasm., Diagnosis of Back Pain

If your doctor suspect you may have a specific (generally more serious) cause of your back pain, your doctor may ask various tests to confirm or rule out specific cause of your back pain. These tests include,

  • X-ray: this is the most common test done if you have back pain. Every individual with back pain will be asked to do X-ray of the area of the back pain (X-ray of the area of spine with the pain). X-ray can help in finding if there is any bone abnormality, such as arthritis (a common cause of back pain is arthritis of spine and hips) or broken bones. However, X-ray may not be able to identify due to problems in spinal cord, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves or inter vertebral discs. Back pain due to problem in these organs may be identified by MRI and/or CT scan. X-ray can identify narrowing of spinal canal or spinal stenosis.
  • Imaging: CT scan and/or MRI scan is essential in most cases of back pain to find out the cause. CT and MRI can identify herniation of disc, disc prolapse (dislocation of disc from its original place), or if there is any problem with muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels or any other soft tissues as well as if there is any problem with bone (such as narrowing of spinal canal known as spinal stenosis). These cannot be identified by X-ray alone, hence imaging is very important in identifying the cause of back pain.
  • Bone scan: your doctor may ask for bone scan to identify if you back pain is due to bone tumor or may be due to compression fracture (common among elderly individuals who are obese and lack physical activity) due to osteoporosis. Bone scan to identify cause of back pain is done very rarely, when every other commonly used tests fail to identify the cause.
  • Electromyography: this is study of nerves that measure electrical impulse produced by nerves and response of your muscles to the electrical impulse. This test can identify nerve compression due to herniated disc or due to spinal stenosis or narrowing of spinal canal.
  • Blood tests: sometimes infection and other medical conditions can cause back pain and this can be identified by various blood tests.

All the above mentioned tests can help to identify the cause of back pain. However, in many cases the exact cause of back pain may not be possible to identify.


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