Back Pain Testing most usually involves various tests. There are many common tests that doctors will use to diagnose your back pain and they are all helpful in different ways. Some of the more common ones are:
X-ray: which is a quite easy and very painless test that will show the bones of your back very well. An x-ray is not as good for soft tissues or discs as some other tests. X-ray shows bones very well. X-ray is normally a good test to see arthritis in the part that is being tested.
CT scan: This is a very good and very specialized test that is very much more detailed then an x-ray. This test uses cross section to get very detailed pictures of what they are looking at. It may also use contrast which is a dye that is injected into you so they can see what they are viewing even better then normal.
MRI: This test uses very high powered magnets to get a very detailed picture of your back that can help your doctor to diagnose you. You will have to lay still for about 45 minutes in a tube shaped device what may be hard to do for some. They sometimes have what is called an open MRI but normally the open ones will not give as clear of a picture as a closed one will give for you. This test is also sometimes used with contrast for a very detailed picture. An MRI shows discs well, soft tissues, bones, and probably whatever else needs to be visualized well.