Diagnostic Imaging for Acute Lower Back Pain

TRICARE doesn’t cover diagnostic imaging for patients with acute lower back pain (LBP) within six weeks of symptom onset if there were no warning signs.

Diagnostic imaging includes:

  • X-rays
  • Ultrasounds
  • CT scans
  • MRIs

TRICARE covers diagnostic imaging for LBP with the following warning signs:

  • A possible fracture, history of osteoporosis, or chronic steroid use.
  • A possible tumor, cancer, or infection.
  • Possible cauda equina syndrome.
  • A major motor weakness.
  • Progressive neurological symptoms.

Last Updated 10/30/2020