Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

A variety of imaging tests may help rule out other causes of neck pain.

  • X-rays. Neck X-rays can help rule out problems such as spinal fractures, dislocations or arthritis.
  • Computerized tomography (CT). This type of test combines X-ray images taken from many different directions to produce more-detailed images of bone and soft tissues.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using radio waves and a strong magnetic field, MRI scans are particularly good at detecting soft tissue injuries, such as to the spinal cord or nerve roots.
Feb. 15, 2012