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    What Kind of Back Problem Do You Have?

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    How Do I Know What Kind of Back Problem I Have?

    Unless you are totally immobilized from a back injury, your doctor probably will examine your range of motion and nerve function and touch your body to locate the area of discomfort.

    Blood and urine tests may be done to determine if the pain is caused by an infection or other systemic problem.
     

    X-rays are useful in pinpointing broken bones or other skeletal defects. They can sometimes help locate problems in connective tissue. To analyze soft-tissue or disc damage, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans may be needed. X-rays and imaging studies are generally used to confirm your symptoms and exam results to identify the source of pain. Scans are also utilized in cases of direct trauma to the back, back pain with fever, or weakness or numbness in the limbs. To determine possible nerve or muscle damage, an electromyogram (EMG) may be ordered.

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    Sleeping Well With Low Back Pain

    If you have low back pain, pain doesn't stop when you go to bed at night. There's a vicious cycle of back pain and sleep problems that contribute to each other. It can be difficult to sleep well if your back hurts. And sometimes your back hurts more because you're not sleeping well. Here are some simple steps you can take to get a better night's rest, even when you have low back pain symptoms.

    Read the Sleeping Well With Low Back Pain article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on May 29, 2014
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