Harvard Men's Health Watch

When do I need an imaging test for my back pain?

On call Q. I suddenly developed low back pain for the first time. My doctor said I did not need an x-ray or other imaging test. Is that normal and are there any situations when a test would be needed? A. Yes, your doctor is following the current guidelines. Unless you have other symptoms in addition to low back pain, an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI is not likely to be helpful. But…

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