The link between Self-Reported Low Back Pain and Radiographic Lumbar Disc Degeneration

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The link between Self-Reported Low Back Pain and Radiographic Lumbar Disc Degeneration

Lately, a study conducted by Van den Berg R and colleagues demonstrated the association between disc space narrowing and neuropathic pain for the very first time. However, no significant relationship was found between osteophytes and LBP.

Low back pain (LBP) is a prevalent cause of disability and reduced quality of life of people suffering from it. Lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) is the proposed cause of LBP, but the relationship is not fully understood. Previous studies have reported an association between LBP and both the LDD definitions osteophytes and disc space narrowing, but there is lack of studies that have examined the relationship between LDD and neuropathic pain. The study was therefore conducted to evaluate the relationship between the radiographic features of LDD and the presence of self-reported LBP, LBP persisting longer than three months, the perceived severity of LBP and presence of neuropathic pain.

Logistic regression models were used to find out the relationship between the radiographic LDD using two definitions (i.e., osteophytes, disc space narrowing) versus the presence of LBP, LBP > 3 months, severe LBP and neuropathic pain.

Six ninety-nine patients completed the questionnaire and had a lumbar radiograph. Two independent observers were involved in scoring the Radiographs. The findings showed the presence of osteophytes in 98% of the population. The disc space narrowing was observed in 67% of the population. So it revealed no significant association of osteophytes with LBP (OR = 1.2, 95% CI 0.9-1.7). But the disc space narrowing was found to had significant association with the presence of LBP and neuropathic pain. (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2-2.4 and OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.7, respectively). The presence of LBP severity score of ≥4, and LBP persisting > 3 months were not significantly associated with the two definitions of LDD.


Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 May 25

Link to the source:

The original title of the article:

The Association Between Self-reported Low Back Pain and Radiographic Lumbar Disc Degeneration of the Cohort Hip and Cohort Knee (CHECK) Study.


Van den Berg R, Jongbloed LM et al.

Diagnostic, Low back pain, Neuropathic pain, Hip, Knee, Nerves
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