Is it possible for me to have an x-ray?

Patient

Q: Hello
When I was around 15 I developed this habit of 'cracking' my lower back. It started purely to relieve my back while doing homework but I soon found myself needing to do it more forcefully and more often. When I was around 17, I noticed gradual pain in the lower back, which soon grew to be unbearable.
I didn't know whether to sit, lie down, stand - I simply had no comfortable position. At times, the area behind my knees would swell. At 18, I went to the GP. I asked if an x-ray could be done but she did not let me, saying that considering the region, my age, and the fact that I am a girl, an x-ray could prove harmful in the future. She recommended me to the hospital to have physiotherapy.
I dutifully did the exercises given to me and after a month I could definitely see results. I continued the exercises but gradually stopped since the pain was barely noticeable. Around 3 months later, I joined a yoga class (to keep working my back) and also a light acrobatics class (to keep active in sports) and the pain was kept at bay. After the class when I'm cooled down, it sometimes hurts a lot though.
I am currently 19; the pain has slowly crept up again and occasionally gets so bad that I have to get my mum to massage my back with Ibuprofen gel or Voltarol gel, which only sometimes reduces the pain a little.
After all this, would an x-ray still be considered dangerous? The pain never leaves me and I'm also concerned about starting a family in the future. It scares me when I think I have to live with this till I die.

Symptoms:  Lower back pain
Doctor

A:   Hello
Thank you for posting your query on ATD.

I have gone through your query and understand your concern. I think your backache is related to weakness of muscles and bones as it was relieved by exercise earlier. You can get your vitamin D level and if low take supplements of vitamin D3 as its deficiency is an important cause of backache. There is some harm of x-ray in all people irrespective of sex but it is not recommended in pregnant women. Otherwise, if required it is recommended. Alternatively you can get MRI which is harmless. You can discuss with your treating Doctor about it.
Hope your query get answered.

Wishing you a good health.
Take care.

Related Q&A

Q: Chronic lower back pain a right shoulder stuffiness

Q: I had an MRI for some back problems but it came back with this: "Small 1.3 cm lesion in the prepontine cistern, ...

Q: Recent MRI was given to me without results. I have to wait until later in the week to get them.

Q: 23 y.o. female had lower right back pain for about 1 year following a burning pain from bending over (I thought it wa...

Q: Hello, I'm Adriana, I just received MRI results of my brain, I'm 40 yrs old, suffer from migraines, tension headaches...

 
DOCTOR ADVISORY BOARD
218

Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician
173

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician
138

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist
98

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon
CNN
BBC
MSNBC
CBS
abcNews
FoxNews