Does your lower back hurt? 

You probably don’t need an MRI, CT scan, or X-ray.

Most people can get over lower-back pain in a few weeks by trying these steps:


Here’s why:

  • They won’t help you feel better any faster.
  • They have risks, including exposure to radiation.
  • They aren’t cheap.

What can you do to feel better? Five easy ideas are on the other side.

Stay active and walk.

Use heat.

Take non-prescription pain relievers like Tylenol®, Advil®, or Aleve®.

Sleep on your side or your back, with a pillow between or under your knees.

Ask your doctor about acupuncture, massage, yoga, or physical therapy.

There are still times when you might need an imaging test. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms to find out if you need imaging tests – or if you can wait to see if you just get better with time.

This information is to use when talking with your healthcare provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use this information at your own risk.

©2016 Consumer Reports

Choosing Wisely