Due to how pain materializes within the body, it can come from many types of conditions. Sometimes the cause of chronic pain is relatively simple, being caused by a tumor or a fracture. Other times, however, the cause may be so internal that the doctor may recommend using an X-ray to determine why your back pain is happening. Many physicians look to a certain set of guidelines before moving forward with using this machine. Usually, your doctor will not make this decision until your pain lasts for six weeks, even with proper rest, exercise, and non-surgical treatment.
If you have had an X-ray in the past two years for your back, the doctor might avoid suggesting another session with the machine unless you develop a new illness or injury. Those with a history of osteoporosis and cancer are more likely to take an X-ray. Your age plays a large role in whether you need an X-ray or not.
The sooner your medical expert can determine the cause of the chronic pain, the sooner he can prescribe a treatment that is right for you. If you have a severe case of chronic pain or are experiencing symptoms of numbness so strong that you can’t feel your legs or can not urinate, the clinic may want to use the X-ray as soon as possible. Other measures of severity include how intense the pain is when you are trying to sleep, if the pain comes with any fever or chills, or if the back pain brings a sudden drop in your weight.
Types of X-Rays for Back Pain
Certain X-Rays are used for certain parts of the body. When it comes to determining the cause of back pain, the physicians use anteroposterior (AP) and lateral view machines. The anteroposterior focuses on your back, while the lateral view captures images at the sides of your body. While many X-rays are done with the patient lying down, your doctor may ask you to stand to take weight-bearing images. Being able to see how your spine reacts to your standing position can help your doctor find the cause of your back pain.
X-rays provide hospitals with vital information on what may be mechanically happening in your body. Combined with the use of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computerized tomography) scans, a doctor can give you a much more specialized diagnosis and treatment. To learn what may be causing your back pain, contact Garden State Pain Center in New Jersey for an appointment.