back pain, Diagnosing back pain


After taking a detailed history your doctor will conduct a physical examination. During the physical examination, your doctor may test your:

  • ability to stand and walk
  • ability to detect sensations in your legs
  • spine’s range of motion
  • reflexes
  • leg strength

If a serious condition is suspected, your doctor might order other tests, including:

  • X-rays of the spine to show the alignment of your bones and check for breaks
  • blood and urine tests to check for underlying conditions
  • computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess your disks, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels
  • bone scan to look for abnormalities in the bone tissue
  • electromyography (EMG) to test nerve conduction

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