Getting an accurate diagnosis for back pain can be very difficult as its causes are complicated, and each diagnosis requires a different treatment technique. The length of time that it takes to make a correct diagnosis is important, as the sooner the diagnosis is made, the faster
the patient will get the proper treatment and pain relief. This will help improve his or her ability to perform day-to-day activities, without worrying about worsening of the condition.
Patients face several issues when they get a diagnosis of back problems. This article will provide useful information regarding these issues.
Different Spinal Disorder Terminologies
Different chiropractors use various terminologies to describe spinal disorders, and this is often confusing to the patient. For instance, bulging disc, herniated disc, pinched nerve, prolapsed disc, protruding disc, and slipped disc can all be used to describe one spinal abnormality. As there is no specific definition of any of these terminologies, the patient often gets different diagnoses from different chiropractors and gets confused as to what the actual condition is.
Another terminology that can confuse back pain patients is degenerative disc disease, which is not really a disease. It is a type of degenerative condition that can sometimes cause symptoms from the injured disc.
Different Types of Diagnostic Studies
Diagnostic studies are used to detect the source of the symptoms and to rule out any disease or abnormality. The following are some of the most commonly used diagnostic studies chiropractors recommend:
X-Rays – An x-ray shows the spinal bone structures in great detail. It is commonly used to see if there are any fractures, tumour, or instability such as spondylolisthesis.
CT Scans – A CT (Computed Tomography) scan is a type of x-ray that
can take cross-section images of the body. It is capable of providing great bony detail through multiple views. It can be used for imaging certain conditions like spinal stenosis or herniated disc.
MRI Scans – An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan can be used for an accurate detection of the cause of backaches. It provides an excellent detail of the disc and the nerve roots.
In the next articles, the different types of diagnostic studies used in diagnosing the causes of back pain will be elaborated.