Lower back pain affects both men and women of all ages. It can limit the life of the person it affects and can often prevent them from earning a living. As such, only a physician can make a proper diagnostic evaluation of low back pain.
When visiting a doctor for your diagnostic evaluation of low back pain, make sure you have your full medical history prepared for the doctor. A few things that the doctor will ask before making a diagnostic evaluation of low back pain will include whether there were previous episodes, if there were any injuries or accidents involving the back, neck, or hip, or if there is any history of cancer. The doctor will also ask if there is any unexplained weight loss or chronic infection, where the pain is exactly, and what triggered it. If you can tell your doctor where the pain is most severe, if any home treatments were used, other health problems, your job, any situation that may improve the situation or make it worse, bowel or urination problems or any other relevant information such as morning stiffness or numbness in the legs can help your doctor make an accurate diagnostic evaluation of low back pain.
The doctor will then perform a physical examination to observe the joints and muscles, check to see if there was any pain when lying down, sitting, as a result of a movement of the head, and to observe and feel the area of pain and to see if other areas of the body are painful or tender. To make a proper diagnostic evaluation of low back pain, the doctor will test nerve function using a rubber hammer, a pin, cotton swab or feather. This will test for numbness and nerve sensitivity.
Should the doctor not be able to make the correct diagnostic evaluation of low back pain, he or she will request lab tests to determine if there is an infection that could be causing the lower back pain. Other tests may be ordered to make the correct diagnostic evaluation of low back pain for people who are over the age of 65 or a history of cancer. These tests could include x-rays, CT scans, MRI, Bone Test, Blood tests, Myleogram, Bone Scintigraphy, electro diagnostic tests or nerve conduction studies.
Blood and urine samples may be taken to establish whether there are any infections, arthritis or any other condition that will allow making a diagnostic evaluation of low back pain possible. An injection of a drug that blocks pain into the nerves of the back may help locate the level of the spine where the pain happens. There are many possible causes of lower back pain that it is difficult to make the correct diagnostic evaluation of low back pain.
If the cause is still not clear to your doctor, your physician may recommend that you visit a rheumatologist, orthopedist, neurosurgeon, neurologist, psychiatrist, or any other medical specialist that may make the proper diagnostic evaluation of low back pain.