Back Pain Center

Back Pain Diagnosis

Back pain frequently originates from musculoskeletal causes.  This means that strain on the bones, muscles, and ligaments of the spine is the underlying cause of discomfort. However, back pain can sometimes be due to more serious conditions, such as cancer or spine problems, that cause nerve damage. When diagnosing musculoskeletal low back pain, doctors need to rule out these other serious causes.

To diagnose back pain, it's best to first see your primary care doctor.  If needed, your doctor can then refer you to an appropriate specialist to diagnose more specific disorders of the nerves and/or musculoskeletal system. 

Medical exams
Your doctor will first take your medical history and then perform a physical exam. Often a doctor can find the cause of your pain with a physical and medical history alone. However, depending on the results of these preliminary tests, your doctor may order other medical tests to help identify the cause of back pain. The diagnostic tests doctors or orthopaedic specialists use to locate the cause of back pain are: 

  • X rays
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Blood tests

Medical tests may not always identify the cause of back pain. However, back pain can get better even if you do not know the cause. In fact, most cases of back pain goes away on its own, though it may take awhile. To learn more about how to treat back pain, read more now.

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