Findings show that suspected discogenic pain, despite its extensive affirmation in the literature and enormous resources regularly devoted to it, currently lacks clear diagnostic criteria 1).

Discogenic lower back pain (DLBP) is the most common type of chronic lower back pain (LBP), accounting for 39% of cases, compared to 30% of cases due to disc herniation, and even lower prevalence rates for other causes, such as zygapophysial joint pain. Only a small proportion (approximately 20%) of LBP cases can be attributed with reasonable certainty to a pathologic or anatomical entity. Thus, diagnosing the cause of LBP represents the biggest challenge for doctors in this field. In this review, we summarize the process of obtaining a clinical diagnosis of DLBP and discuss the potential for serum-based diagnosis in the near future. The use of serum biomarkers to diagnose DLBP is likely to increase the ease of diagnosis as well as produce more accurate and reproducible results 2).

High-intensity zone

Malik KM, Cohen SP, Walega DR, Benzon HT. Diagnostic criteria and treatment of discogenic pain: a systematic review of recent clinical literature. Spine J. 2013 Nov;13(11):1675-89. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2013.06.063. Epub 2013 Aug 28. PMID: 23993035.
Zhang YG, Guo TM, Guo X, Wu SX. Clinical diagnosis for discogenic low back pain. Int J Biol Sci. 2009 Oct 13;5(7):647-58. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.5.647. Erratum in: Int J Biol Sci. 2010;6(6):613. PMID: 19847321; PMCID: PMC2764347.
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