Your doctor will begin by asking questions about your medical history, your symptoms, and your work and physical activities. He or she will also do a physical exam. The questions and exam can help rule out a serious cause for your pain. Your doctor may also ask questions about stress at home and at work that may make you more susceptible to chronic pain.
But if you have a back pain problem that has lasted longer than 6 weeks, or if your doctor thinks you may have more than muscle pain, it might be time for a test.
Which tests are used?
Tests for low back pain include:
Sometimes other tests can be useful, such as a bone scan or an electromyogram and nerve conduction. These are used to look for bone, nerve, and muscle/nerve problems that might be causing low back pain.