What is the relationship of low back pain to signs of abnormal skeletal metabolism detected by bone scans?

Document Type



Medical College Pakistan


Background: In approximately 80-85% of Patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain (NSLBP), a precise pathoanatomical diagnosis cannot be identified. Mechanisms of bone nociception may contribute to NSLBP. Objective: To determine whether findings on bone scans, which provide a pathophysiological picture of functional activity, are associated with self-reports of NSLBP intensity. Design: A cross-sectional study of the relationship of self-reported chronic NSLBP intensity to the uptake of radiolabeled technetium-99m-methylene diphosphonate in the lumbosacral area.Study Participants. Patients referred for bone scans who were at least 18 years old. Outcome Measures: Subject reports of pain intensity and intensity of uptake of radiolabeled technetium-99m-methylene diphosphonate in the lumbosacral area. Results: Among subjects who were 65 years or younger, the age-adjusted worst pain intensity accounted for 45% of the variability in the amount of tracer uptake (r = 0.67, P = 0.0006). The association was not significant for those older than 65 years. Conclusion: Further studies should be conducted on possible mechanisms relating bone nociception to chronic NSLBP in individuals who are 65 years or younger.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Pain Medicine