Imaging For Back Pain

30 Sep

The test: An X-ray, CT scan, or MRI to take pictures of your spine.

Who should have it: Anyone with back pain and a history of cancer, unexplained weight loss, chills and fever, or sudden loss of bowel or bladder control or leg sensation or strength.

Who can skip it: Ohers with lower back pain for less than six weeks. Usually, it eases with walking, ibuprofen (Advil and generic) or naproxen (Aleve and generic), heat, and, if pain lasts more than a few weeks, physical therapy. “I still see a lot of patients with two days of back pain an MRI their primary care physician ordered,” says F. Todd Wetzel, M.D., president of the North American Spine Society.

Source: Consumer Reports on Health October 2017

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