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How is back pain diagnosed?

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In addition to performing a complete history and physical exam for your back pain, your doctor may suggest one of the following diagnostic studies:

A number of other imaging and electrical studies may also be used to identify back problems, and some injections are used for diagnostic purposes as well as for pain relief.

  • X-rays, which can be used to provide detail of the bone structures in the spine and to check for instability (such as spondylolisthesis, see below), tumors, and fractures
  • CT scans, which can identify specific conditions, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis
  • MRI scans, which can provide details about the backs' discs and nerve roots. MRI scans are most commonly used for pre-surgical planning

From: Management of Back Pain WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: WebMD Health News: “FDA Approves Cymbalta for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain.”

Davis R. . August 2013. Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on October 17, 2017

SOURCES: WebMD Health News: “FDA Approves Cymbalta for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain.”

Davis R. . August 2013. Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on October 17, 2017

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What are the causes of spondylolisthesis?

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