Association of lumbar MRI findings with current and future back pain in a population-based cohort study

Review written by Todd Hargrove info

Key Points

  1. MRIs can detect structural abnormalities and degenerative changes that may contribute to low back pain (LBP).
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Low back pain (LBP) in most patients is considered non-specific, meaning that a pathoanatomical source cannot be specified. However, structural abnormalities and degenerative changes (which can be seen on MRI) may contribute to LBP.

There are few longitudinal studies examining the association between lumbar MRI degenerative findings and LBP. This population-based cohort study examined associations between MRI findings and present or future LBP, in people with and without LBP.

There are few longitudinal studies examining the association between lumbar MRI degenerative findings and low back pain.
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Clinicians should be cautious about making assumptions regarding the cause and prognosis of low back pain based on MRI findings.

METHODS

  • At the start of the study, 3369 participants received lumbar MRIs. They provided information on LBP and disability from LBP over the last three months. Each measure was described on a scale from 0 to 10, and the two measures
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