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Column Is it true that 80% of back pain remains unexplained?


The importance of seeing a specialist.

・In most cases, the cause of low back pain can be determined by a careful diagnosis by a medical specialist.

In 2001, an American general practitioner reported that “in about 85% of patients with low back pain, an accurate pathologic anatomical diagnosis is not possible,” leading to the widespread recognition that the cause of most low back pain is unknown. However, the credibility of this report has been the subject of much debate since the physician who published the article did not specialize in low back pain.

In 2016, a new study conducted by the Yamaguchi University orthopedic surgery team found that of 320 patients examined by a low back pain specialist, 78% (250 patients) had specific low back pain with an identifiable cause. The results show that 80% of the patients had been diagnosed with specific low back pain.

This result indicates that the cause of 80% of back pain is said to be unidentifiable, but by having a medical examination by a specialist, the cause of most back pains can be identified. Identifying the cause makes it in turn possible to provide appropriate intervention.

ILC International Lumbago Clinic Tokyo