Tests to evaluate back pain
Which tests are useful in evaluating back pain?
- Plain radiographs provide information about bony alignment and degenerative changes.
- Dynamic flexion/extension films provide information about osseous instability.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is sensitive for identifying intrinsic cord lesions, spinal root compression, spinal cord tumors, infections (abscesses), and herniated discs
- Computed tomography myelography is especially valuable for evaluating nerve root compression
Spurling RG, Scoville WB: Lateral rupture of the cervical intervertebral disc: A common cause of shoulder and arm pain. Surg Gynecol Obstet 78:350-358, 1944.