Most of the cases of back pain do not require any medical care and it can be treated using over-the-counter medications. If the pain persists and is bothering then it is necessary to consult a physician.
The physician will examine the back and assess the ability of the patient whether he/she is able to sit or stand or walk and lift the legs. The physician will also test whether the person is able to move the back and examines the range of movement of the back.
Initial Examination By The Physician
The physician will ask the patient about his/her lifestyle and work nature and will attempt to know about any injuries or illnesses that might have led to the back pain. Questions regarding when the pain was started, location of pain, any prior back pain experiences, and any factor that enhances or reduces the back pain will be asked by the physician. This is done only to know if there is any serious condition that might have led to back pain.
The physician also will concentrate on asking questions to rule out any possibility of cancer or any infection or any fracture. If the physician thinks that there is some serious cause for back pain, then the patient will be suggested to undergo some more tests like MRI scan and X-ray.
Diagnostic Imaging Techniques
The techniques that are used for diagnosing the back pain are X-ray, CT scan, Myelogram, MRI scan, thermography, bone scans, ultrasound, electromyogram and Discogram.
If the back pain persists for more than six weeks, then the physician will suggest the patient to consult a specialist who can provide relevant treatment. The specialists include osteopath, physiotherapist, psychologist, chiropractor and acupuncturist. The patient also can think of approaching any of these specialists directly when the pain started.
It is essential for the patient to give correct and proper information on the present condition as well as the previous medical history to the physician. This confidential information will be made use of by the physician to decide the treatment methods and plan for particular drugs.
Some of the Diagnostic Tests That are Done For Detecting the Back Pain Sources Are
Ankylosing Spondylitis Exams and Tests
The physician will perform physical examination, know about medical history and X-ray of spine and pelvis to detect Ankylosing spondylitis.
Bone density tests
This test will evaluate the density of minerals present in the bones with the help of CT scan and X-ray. The strength of the bones is estimated using this data.
This test will evaluate the pattern and amount of antibodies present in the blood which function against your body. The problems with the immune system are identified with the help of antinuclear antibodies like systemic lupus erythematosus, Rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, polymyositis, Sjogren’s syndrome.
The damage to the bones, the presence of cancer in the bones and trauma and infection in the bones can be identified by bone scan.
Complete Blood Count
The complete blood count will provide the data regarding the number of cells and kinds of cells in the blood such as RBCs, platelets and WBCs.
The CBC Test usually involves white blood cell count, white blood cell types, red blood cell count, hematocrit, hemoglobin, red blood cell indices, platelet count and Mean platelet volume.
This is a blood test that evaluates the electrolyte levels in the blood.
Computed Tomography Scan
This type of scan utilizes the X-rays to prepare the elaborate pictures of the structures present inside the body.
Discography is a clinical procedure where the injection is given for sending a dye into the spinal disc to identify the back problems.
This blood test will help in evaluating the amount of C-reactive protein present in the blood. The level of inflammation in the body is measured by C-reactive protein.
Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Studies
The evaluation of the electrical activity of the muscles when they are contracting or when they are at rest is electromyogram. The speed with which the nerves are able to send the electrical signals are measured by nerve conduction studies.
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
This test involves a blood test that evaluates the speed with which the red blood cells are collected in the test tube bottom in one-hour. If many red blood cells are accumulated then SED rate will be more.
Human Leukocyte Antigen-B27 Testing
This test is linked with the Ankylosing spondylitis which determines the presence of the gene called HLA-B27.
The pictures are taken to identify any disease or injury that might exist in the discs and the joints of the spine.
This is the blood test that evaluates the presence of the amount of rheumatoid factor antibody in the blood.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
This is the test that makes use of magnetic field and radio wave energy pulses to create the images of the structures and the organs present inside the body.