Diagnosis Neurology & Neurosurgery

Lumbar Disc Herniation
Diagnosis

Initial diagnosis of lumbar herniation generally is based on the symptoms of lower back pain. Your doctor will examine your sensation, reflexes, gait and strength. Your doctor also may suggest the following tests:

  • X-ray High-energy radiation is used to take pictures of the spine.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) An MRI provides detailed pictures of the spine that are produced with a powerful magnet linked to a computer.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan A CT scan uses a thin X-ray beam that rotates around the spine area. A computer processes data to construct a three-dimensional, cross-sectional image.
  • Electromyography (EMG) This test measures muscle response to nervous stimulation.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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