What you should know before you go to the doctor.
How should my doctor examine my low back pain? Avoid ordering imaging tests.
Low back pain is very common. Sometime in your life you are very likely to have at least one occurrence of low back pain. The pain may range from mild to severe and last a short time or be long term. Generally it will resolve within six weeks with no treatment.
What you need to know.
Your doctor will review your medical history and give you an examination to assess your symptoms. In most cases, x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are not needed for a diagnosis. These tests are often unnecessary and do not find the cause of pain. They also expose you to unnecessary radiation during the tests.
Based on your symptoms and diagnosis, your doctor will tell you your best treatment options. If pain does not go away within a few weeks, or if symptoms suggest a more serious problem, then x-rays may be a good test for your doctor to order.
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