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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.

Recommended Related to Back Pain

Low Back Strain

Low back pain is a fact of life. Just about everybody will suffer from it sooner or later. One of the main causes of back pain, whether acute or chronic, is low back strain. So what is low back strain? A series of muscles and ligaments in your back hold the bones of your spinal column in place. You can strain these muscles by stretching them too far, causing tiny tears in the tissue. The muscles are then weakened, so they may not be able to hold the bones of your spinal column in place correctly...

Read the Low Back Strain article > >

WebMD Medical Reference

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