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How is Neck Pain Diagnosed?

In this article our Rozelle and Balmain chiropractors will discuss how neck pain is diagnosed. Your medical history and the physical examination is the most important part of your consultation and diagnosis. Most cases of neck pain do not require any additional testing. However, in some cases more diagnostic investigation may be required. These tests may include:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan: An MRI uses a magnet and computer to develop images of organs and structures inside the body. An MRI scan can pick up images of soft tissue and are useful in diagnosing disorders of the brain, spinal cord and joints.
  • X-rays: Detailed images of the bones of the spine can be developed through x-rays. They are also used in detecting fractures, tumours, deformities in the curve of the spine, osteoporosis (thinning of the bones), and arthritis.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan: Cross-sectional images are developed using a CT scan, which uses x-rays and computers. A CT scanner takes various pictures of the body, called slices, and a computer reformats them to make them cross-sectional images. CT scans are helpful to diagnose small fractures and other bone disorders because they provide clear detail of the bones of the spine.
  • Bone scan: Bone scans look at areas where there is a higher than usual level of bone activity, also known as bone turnover. Cancer, infections and fractures are the cause of bone turnover. To find bone turnover, the patient s given a small amount of radioactive material. A computer analyzes the gamma rays to form an image.

Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) is a chiropractic and physiotherapy centre of excellence located in Balmain and Rozelle Sydney. We use the highest standards in neck pain treatments that are safe, effective and based on the latest research. Our Rozelle and Balmain chiropractors are passionate about helping you recover from neck pain.


Chris Knee

Chris is a chiropractor, sports chiropractor, McKenzie Credentialed practitioner, nutritionist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). Chris studied the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University from 2016-2019. He is now finishing his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree to become a medical doctor.