How to distinguish three of the most common LBP syndromes

An evidence based classification of chronic low back pain conditions

  • Radiating pain in dermatomes as a sign of radicular pain
  • Chronic musculoskeletal back pain primary cause of disability
  • Muscle cramps and ‘heavy legs’ indicators for neurogenic claudication 

To assist physiotherapists in the diagnostics of low back pain, an American expert group described three of the most common low back pain conditions: lumbosacral radicular pain, chronic musculoskeletal low back pain, and low back pain resulting from neurogenic claudication. They mention a range of symptoms that patients often present themselves with, comorbidities associated with each condition, provide an array of possible neurobiological, psychosocial and functional consequences, and which mechanisms, risk factors and protective factors may play a role in the onset of the condition.


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