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Spinal Pain
Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 2010;5(4):273-276.
Published online October 31, 2010.
Definition of lumbar spinal pain
Chul Joong Lee
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Samsung Seoul Hospital, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
The prevalence of lumbar spinal pain rose significantly over 10 years. With respect to clinical management of lumbar spinal pain, the most important things are to understand the definition of terms related to lumbar spinal pain. Despite the efforts of the International Association for the Study of Pain, misuse and confusion still continue among clinicians about the definition of terms related to lumbar spinal pain; back pain, referred pain, radicular pain, radiculopathy, and sciatica. Failure to distinguish one type of lumbar spinal pain from the others may lead to unnecessary tests, misdiagnosis, and mismanagement such as an unnecessary surgery. This confusion also exists in developing animal models of lumbar spinal pain by basic scientists. Thus, the exact understandings of definition and physiology of terms related to lumbar spinal pain are essential to manage patients and research the lumbar spinal pain properly.
Key Words: Definition, Lumbar, Spinal pain, Radicular, Referred pain
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