Common symptoms include:
Low back pain and muscle spasms which can be sharp, burning, tingling sensation. Pain can radiate down to the leg and the foot, at times with weakness of the legs, usually worse with sitting and improved with rest or lying down.
Diagnosis is made through a comprehensive history and physical examination, symptoms and special tests, including MRI, X-rays, CT scans and Nerve Conduction studies (EMG). Diagnostic Imaging is the most effective way of determining the cause of the low back pain.
MRI – Abbreviation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, an MRI uses large magnets and the patient body’s own nuclear magnetic resonance to build a comprehensive image of the afflicted area. An MRI is more accurate and provides higher contrast than both X-ray or CT scans. While it does not subject the patient to radiation, an MRI does use powerful magnets and makes loud noises, making it unsuitable for some patients.
X-rays – This is the oldest form of diagnostic imaging. Useful for seeing direct traumatic damage to the bone but isn’t as useful for soft tissues. X-rays also exposes the patient to radiation.
CTScans – Also known as computed tomography or computer axial tomography (shortened to CAT scan), this form of imaging is superior to X-rays in that it offers high-contrast resolution for bones but is not as good for soft tissues visualization.
However, there are a number of warning signs that should be noted. Their presence could be a red flag that low back pain is headed your way in the future: