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How Is The Pain In The Lumbar Spine Diagnosed?

By Expert Author: Dr Sejal Thakkar

According to official terminology used by medical professionals, the lower part of the spine is known as the lumbar spine. It normally curves inwards toward the abdomen. It is situated about five or six inches below the shoulder blades and connects the thoracic spine at the top and extends downward to the sacral spine at the bottom. Normally, all the back pains occur at the lumbar spine,which can be caused by any number of reasons. In this article, we give you the procedure that is followed to diagnose the pain that is felt in the lumbar spine.

Pain classification in the Lumbar region:

• Axial low back pain: this is the most common back pain that is felt in the lumbar region. It is defined as a sharp or dull pain and can be severe enough to limit everyday activities like walking or standing. Activities like sports and sitting for long periods may make the pain worse. Normally, this particular disorder occurs with a spinal disc protrusion which is commonly known as slip disc.

• Lumbar radiculopathy or sciatica: this pain radiates from the lower part of the back down the buttocks and then toyour calf or toes. Normally, the pain is more intense in the lower part of the body than in the back. This occurs when the sciatica nerve is affected. This is normally a symptom for disorders pertaining to a slip disc or spinal disc protrusions.

• Referred pain in lumbar spine: in this case, the pain is situated in the lower back and radiates to the groin area, buttocks and upper thigh but rarely below the knee. The pain is normally dull and can vary in terms of degree of intensity. This is normally felt in a pulled muscle in the back or spinal disc protrusions or slip disc.

Diagnostic tests

Once you have classified the pain and the region where it is affecting you, your doctor will prescribe the correct diagnosis. The various methods that are currently available include:

• X-ray: This provides information about the spine on the basis of spinal instability, tumors and fractures.
• CT scan: this captures the cross section of the vertebrate and spinal discs normally used to detect slip disc or spinal disc
• MRI Scan:It displays the cross section of the components of the spine and is useful to assess issues with lumbar discs and nerve roots
• Myelogram: a contrast dye inserted into the spine allows identification of problems within the spine, spinal cord and nerve roots.
• Digital spine analysis: this is a digitally administered diagnostic test which determines the functionality of the patient’s spine, strength, mobility and strength relation. It also helps hlpes to determine the correct course of treatment, especially in terms of slip disc treatment.


Normally the treatment, especially in the case of sciatica, muscle pull, spinal stenosis or slip disc treatment, requires rest, medication and light exercises. These slip disc treatments modules or spine treatment procedures can last anywhere between a few weeks to a few months. Care should be taken that the treatment be effective enough to ensure that the patient does not suffer from a relapse.

Author Bio:
Dr.Sejal Thakkar, A Spine Consultant at Qi Spine Clinic, She is driven by the goal of achieving excellence in clinical practice by constantly updating her knowledge and has a special interest in movement analysis and done several workshops on Kinetic Control-Movement solutions, slip disc treatment and spinal disc protrusions.

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