Tests and Diagnosis

Diagnostic tests are not that necessary to confirm the back pain cause. However, it is good to consult a doctor for back pain, he/she will examine the back and evaluates your ability to stand, sit, walk or lift your legs. The doctor may use a rubber reflex hammer to test your reflexes.

If there seems to be any reason to be suspected, the doctor may carry one or more of these following tests:

X-ray – These tests show the bone alignment which helps to detect arthritis or broken bones. However, these X-rays doesn’t show problems related to spinal cord, nerves, disks or muscles.

CT (Computerized Tomography) or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans – These scans help in generating images that may show problems with bones, tissues, muscles, nerves, tendons, blood vessels and ligaments.

Bone Scan – In certain cases, the physician may take a bone scan to view for compression fractures or bone tumors.

Nerve Studies (Electromyography or EMG) – This diagnostic test measures the electrical impulses generated by the nerves and responses of the muscles. Therefore this test confirms nerve compression formed by narrowing of the spinal canal or herniated disks.