The causes of back pain can be very complex, it is often more difficult to get an accurate diagnosis for back pain than for other medical conditions. While some spinal diagnoses are relatively straightforward (such as tumors, infections, or fractures), for many conditions there is little agreement among spine specialists about a diagnosis. However, getting an accurate diagnosis of the cause of back pain is critical, because different diagnoses will require very different treatment approaches. And the sooner an accurate diagnosis is made, the sooner the patient can find an appropriate treatment for pain relief and to improve his or her ability to enjoy everyday activities.
Rather than focus on the MRI or other test terminology referring to spinal anatomy, it’s most helpful for patients to focus on understanding the clinical diagnosis for their back problems. An accurate clinical diagnosis for the patient’s back pain is based on correlating the findings of the diagnostic tests (such as an MRI), with the patient’s specific symptoms and the doctor’s findings from a complete physical exam.
Doctors at the Spinal Health use MRI scans, if available, along with clinical diagnostic testing. The HyperX Leg Raise test allows the doctor to follow the path of the spinal cord from the skull to the low back, stressing each disc level to target areas of concern. Once determined, a conservative treatment plan is designed using the latest technology available.
It is important to note that Spinal Health does not use X-rays because it is not possible to diagnose a herniated disk by a spine x-ray alone.