Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:
- Where is the pain in your back?
- Does it radiate to your legs?
- Is it worse when you walk?
- Does the pain from walking occur suddenly or gradually?
- Is it relieved by standing?
- Is it relieved by sitting or lying down?
- What bothers you more, the pain in your back or the pain in your legs?
- Does the pain worsen when you cough or sneeze?
- Do you have numbness or decreased sensation in your legs?
- Have you had problems with your balance?
- Have you had any changes or difficulty in your ability to urinate?
- How long have you had the pain?
- Is it getting worse?
- How much does it limit your usual activities?
- How is your quality of life affected by the pain?
- Have you ever had spinal surgery?
- Have you ever injured your back?
- Have you ever had hip surgery?
- Do you have diabetes?
- Do you have peripheral vascular disease?
- Do you have foot ulcers?
- Have you ever had vascular surgery?
- Do you have any sort of neuropathy (nerve damage)?
- What are you doing to treat the pain?
- Have you seen a physical therapist?
- Are you interested in an injection of a cortisone-like medication into your back? Do you know anything about this procedure?
Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:
- Neurologic exam
Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:
- X-rays of the spine (see p. 137)
- CT scans of the spine (see p. 141)
- MRI scans of the spine (see p. 143)