Low back pain causes

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Low back pain Microchapters





Differentiating Low back pain from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors

Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings

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Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Conservative Management


Primary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

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Case #1

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Radiographic abnormalities of the low back may occur in patients without pain.[1][2]

Common Causes

Possible causes of low back pain: [3] [4]

Causes by Organ System

Cardiovascular Aortic aneurysm, abdominal
Chemical / poisoning No underlying causes
Dermatologic Cobb syndrome
Drug Side Effect No underlying causes
Ear Nose Throat No underlying causes
Endocrine Adrenal hemorrhage
Environmental No underlying causes
Gastroenterologic Colorectal polyps, Colorectal polyps
Genetic Danubian endemic familial nephropathy, Danubian endemic familial nephropathy, Danubian endemic familial nephropathy
Hematologic Acute intermittent porphyria, Marchiafava-Micheli disease
Iatrogenic No underlying causes
Infectious Disease Epidural abscess, Transverse myelitis, Oophoritis, PID, Discitis, UTI, Enteropathic arthritis, Pelvic abscess, Tuberculosis, Chlamydia infection, Osteomyelitis, Prostatitis, Viral prostatitis, Transverse myelitis, Pyelonephritis, acute, Reiter's syndrome, Prostatitis
Musculoskeletal / Ortho Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Osteomyelitis, Paget disease of bone, Ankylosing spondylitis, Coccydynia, Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis, Discitis, Intervertebral disc herniation, Juvenile osteochondrosis, Osteoporosis, Spondylolisthesis, Spondylolysis, Spondylosis, Tethered cord syndrome, Disc disorder, Vertebral dysfunction, Axial osteosclerosis , Degenerative disc disease, Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis, Facet arthropathy, Juvenile osteoporosis, Misaligned pelvis- pelvic obliquity, anteversion or retroversion, Muscle spasm, Scheuermann's disease
Neurologic Transverse myelitis' Posterior Rami Syndrome, Epidural abscess
Nutritional / Metabolic Alkaptonuria, Cholesterol embolism, Ochronosis, Pompe's disease , Osteomalacia
Obstetric/Gynecologic Dysmenorrhoea, Pelvic inflammatory disease, Pregnancy, Premenstrual syndrome, Uterine fibroids, Oophoritis
Oncologic Malignancy, Cobb syndrome, Colorectal cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Myeloma, Leukemia, mast-cell, Prostate Cancer, Bone metastases, Breast cancer, Chordoma, Metastatic neoplasm, Intradural spinal tumors
Opthalmologic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
Overdose / Toxicity Copper toxicity
Psychiatric No underlying causes
Pulmonary No underlying causes
Renal / Electrolyte Pyelonephritis, acute, Familial renal cell carcinoma, Polycystic kidney disease, adult (autosomal dominant), Chronic interstitial nephritis,UTI
Rheum / Immune / Allergy Reiter's syndrome, Autoimmune oophoritis, Chondrocalcinosis, Psoriatic arthritis, Seronegative spondylarthritides
Sexual No underlying causes
Trauma Vertebral fracture, Disc injury, Spinal cord injury, acute, Back strain, Fractures, Ligament strain, Whiplash Injury
Urologic Prostatitis, Prostate cancer
Miscellaneous Polymyalgia rheumatica, Excessive lifting, Functional disorders, Retroperitoneal fibrosis, Retroperitoneal haemorrhage, Breakdance back syndrome, Multifocal fibrosclerosis, Posture, Spastic pelvic floor syndrome, Sympathetic pain syndromes

Causes in Alphabetical Order


  1. Jensen MC, Brant-Zawadzki MN, Obuchowski N, Modic MT, Malkasian D, Ross JS (1994). "Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine in people without back pain". N Engl J Med. 331 (2): 69–73. doi:10.1056/NEJM199407143310201. PMID 8208267.
  2. Cheung KM, Karppinen J, Chan D, Ho DW, Song YQ, Sham P; et al. (2009). "Prevalence and pattern of lumbar magnetic resonance imaging changes in a population study of one thousand forty-three individuals". Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 34 (9): 934–40. doi:10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181a01b3f. PMID 19532001.
  3. Sailer, Christian, Wasner, Susanne. Differential Diagnosis Pocket. Hermosa Beach, CA: Borm Bruckmeir Publishing LLC, 2002:77 ISBN 1591032016
  4. Kahan, Scott, Smith, Ellen G. In A Page: Signs and Symptoms. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing, 2004:68 ISBN 140510368X

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