Skip to content

    Back Pain Health Center

    Select An Article

    What Kind of Back Problem Do You Have?

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    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

    Alternative Therapies for Low Back Pain

    There are lots of ways you can treat your low back pain without drugs or surgery. These alternative therapies can bring you relief and help you live an active life.

    Read the Alternative Therapies for Low Back Pain article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference

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

    Today on WebMD

    Woman holding lower back
    Or is it another form of back pain?
    Hand on back
    See the myths vs. the facts.
     
    Woman doing pilates
    Good and bad exercises.
    acupuncture needles in woman's back
    Use it to manage your pain.
     
    Man with enhanced spinal column, rear view
    Video
    pain in brain and nerves
    Slideshow
     
    Chronic Pain Healtcheck
    Health Check
    break at desk
    Article
     
    Woman holding lower back
    Slideshow
    Weight Loss Surgery
    Slideshow
     
    lumbar spine
    Slideshow
    back pain
    Article