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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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Getting Through the Day With Low Back Pain

Almost everyone experiences low back pain every now and then. Whether mild or severe, short-term or long-term, low back pain can greatly affect your daily life. When low back pain strikes, how do you go to work? Take care of your kids? Clean the house? It's not easy, but you can be proactive when it comes to managing your low back pain. Before you take steps to ease low back pain, it's helpful to understand the causes and symptoms of low back pain.

Read the Getting Through the Day With Low Back Pain article > >

WebMD Medical Reference

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