Back pain is a common ailment that affects almost everyone at some point of their lives. Before going for its treatment, back pain needs to be diagnosed properly as different causes usually have different treatments. You might think that that your severe back pain can be as a result of lifting something hard or standing in the queue for a long time.
Sometimes even you can hold your bedding responsible for your back pain and think that there is nothing very serious to be worried about. But it is of utmost importance to find out the underlying causes for your severe back pain. This article on how to diagnose severe back pain can be helpful.
Diagnose Severe Back Pain
The doctor will examine signs that relate to nerve damage while you walk wearing a gown on your heels, soles and even toes. Doctors make use of a reflex hammer to check your reflexes by testing it either behind your ankles or your knees.
The doctor will also ask you to lie down flat on your back and lift your leg once without the help of the doctor and once with his/her help. This would help them in checking the muscle strength or nerve damage. Pins and paper clips are usually used to check the sensation.
There is never one cause for severe back pain and different causes can be responsible for it. Hence, doctors make sure of performing a medical history on you as a part of their routine treatment. You might find some irrelevant questions being asked to you but you will understand later why they are important. Some common questions asked by the doctors are: whether you experienced this pain by lifting some heavy objects or how does this pain lessens or becomes worse?
Electromyogram or EMG
In case of acute pain, EMG is conducted by doctors. This is nerve test conducted with the help of needles. Small needles are inserted in the muscles to monitor electrical activities.
This test helps in predicting the extent of nerve damage if any. This is a very useful test and also helps in deciding the whether the pain is due to muscle disease or nerve disease. This is one of most effective tests of how to diagnose severe back pain.
Normal X-Ray can be helpful in diagnosing arthritis and osteoarthritis. X-rays are not commonly prescribed by the doctors for diagnosing severe back pain. Myelogram or a x-ray method where some kind of dye is injected in the spinal cord can be useful in the diagnosis. Spinal X-ray if prescribed can be useful in determining any kind of injuries or any kind of disease that has affected the spinal cord. Since MRI is a very expensive test, X-rays can help in determining minor cases.
This method is used rarely to determine the cause of severe back pain. Bone scan is usually prescribed when the doctor suspects something as bone tumours.
This method also helps in analyzing compression fractures if any. Compression fractures are common in osteoporosis. When the doctors are not able to diagnose severe back pain using the above tests, this test is prescribed by doctors in serious cases.
This article on how to diagnose severe back pain can really be really useful for people who are suffering from this pain.