How Is Chronic Back Pain Diagnosed?


Quick Answer

A doctor performs a number of diagnostic tests to find the cause of chronic back pain, including nerve function and range of motion tests, according to WebMD. Urine and blood tests may also be done to find out if the pain is caused by an infection or other issue.

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Full Answer

Doctors may also use X-rays on those who complain of chronic back pain, as they can be used to pinpoint skeletal defects or broken bones, explains WebMD. X-rays may also be used to look at issues in the connective tissues of the back. In order to check the soft tissue of the back, a doctor may use magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography. These scans are generally used to confirm the symptoms and identify the source of back pain. To look for nerve or muscle damage, a doctor may also order an electromyogram.

A number of treatments that are available for back pain, states WebMD. Medication may be prescribed in many cases, but risks are associated with some of them. Another option is chiropractic care. Therapies such as electrothermal therapy, bioelectric therapy and electrical nerve stimulation are also options. For severe cases or for those that do not heal with other therapies, a number of surgical procedures may be done on the back to ease pain.

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