Very often doctors get patients complaining of back pain and in such a case clinical examination of the back would have to be carried out. It has been seen that in most people pain in the back is caused primarily due to bad posture or the causes could be functional in nature. Hence, they are not a cause for concern. Nonetheless, when a patient comes to a doctor with backache, it is imperative that that the doctor does a thorough clinical examination of the back to ascertain the cause.
Usually, clinical examination of the back is conducted by first finding out whether the person has any other health problem. So, the doctor will ask questions about the person's general and overall health. Thereafter, the physical examination will be done. In the examination, the doctor will check the nerves, muscles as well as the bones. However, the following regions will be examined very closely:
The spine will be checked very carefully, with the doctor checking every single vertebra to see whether there is any deformity causing the back problem. The doctor will specifically check the mobility as well as the alignment of the spine. In addition, the doctor will check whether the person suffers from any abnormality related to gait or posture. In case during any of the maneuvers, the doctor notices any problems, he may suspect an abnormality of the spine and order additional tests like X-ray of the spine to make a diagnosis.
The nerves of the back will also be checked. This is done to rule a problem with the disc. Here also, the doctor will ask the patient to do several maneuvers that gives him or her an idea whether a problem with the nerves are causing the pain in the back.
Finally, the muscles of the back as well as the legs are checked. In case the doctor notices any tenderness in the muscles, it could be due to injury causing a strain in the muscles. If the muscles are tight, then also it could be due to some injury to the muscles. To ensure that no serious condition is present, the doctor will check the patient for muscle balance, flexibility of the muscles, coordination of the muscles as well as the strength of the muscles.
After the clinical examination of the back is done, the doctor will either make a diagnosis or order more tests.
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