Lower Back Pain Diagnosis
Viewing Lower Back Pain Diagnosis
If you have been suffering from acute back pain for a while and can’t seem to shake it regardless of getting ample rest, it may be time to see a doctor. Lower back pain is not something that you can take lightly. Aside from the fact that it is debilitating, it can also lead to more serious medical conditions like paralysis of the lower extremities if left untreated long enough. If you have had lower back pain for more than 3 weeks without improvement, perhaps it’s time to have a checkup for a lower back pain diagnosis.
There are a number of medical tools available for lower back pain diagnosis. Consider talking to your doctor about any or all of the methods outlined below.
·Physical Examination. The first step to any back pain diagnosis is to conduct a physical examination to cover obvious symptoms. These include neurologic or sensitivity and response tests such as sensation, muscle strength and tendon reflex. Other tests include a thorough assessment of posture, leg responses to raising and lowering, a spine examination, and even a few tests to check for range of movement. These tests will help to establish the baseline and limitations of the patient in terms of movement and response and will help the doctor to determine how future and more sophisticated tests can be conducted to diagnose the actual problem.
·Laboratory Testing. While it might not sound like these are related, a blood work can divulge a lot of information about the condition of the patient. Common tests include red and while blood cell count, platelet count, tests for malignancy in the blood as well as a spinal tap if the conditions indicate that it is necessary to get a sample of the patient’s spinal fluid.
·X-Rays and Similar Radiology Tests. Next to blood work, imaging techniques reveal the most about the condition of the back and the peripheral areas. Any muscular or skeletal deformations are immediately obvious in an x-ray. If further assessment is required, doctors can recommend filmographs and radiographs to be able to discern small anomalies that might not be readily visible in an x-ray snapshot.
·Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). X-rays, radiographs and filmographs can help discover problems at the 2D level but if doctors need an expanded view of the patient’s back, they turn to the MRI to do the job. MRIs produce a 3D scan of the area of interest which gives doctors an almost unobstructed view of the layers of muscle and bone that constitute the patient’s lower back. While MRIs are not necessarily recommended for every case, they are most certainly used for complex lower back pain diagnosis and oftentimes elucidate information that is not revealed by other diagnostic tools.
·Bone Scintigraphy. This is the next level of imaging or scanning specific to the bone structure. Oftentimes, this is prescribed as a consequence of the blood work results and is almost always effective in detecting abnormalities in the bone structure such as fractures and faults that are too small to be seen in X-rays.
Lower back pain diagnosis techniques have come a long way in the intervening years resulting to better detection of underlying conditions that is plaguing the patient. By paying attention to your body and immediately consulting with a doctor, you stand a better chance of detecting and correcting the source of your lower back pain before it turns into something more serious and sinister.