Assumption #6. Degeneration of one or more lumbar discs is the most common cause of low back pain and associated leg pain.
Among 840 newly enrolled participants in the Johnson Count (NC) Osteoarthritis Project who had low back pain plus radiographically documented evidence of disc space narrowing, vertebral osteophytes, or facet joint OA, only modest associations were found between disc space narrowing and low back pain. No significant associations were found between low back pain and associated leg pain, which "may have an etiology other than disc degeneration," write the authors. "Plain film radiographs may have limited clinical utility for this subgroup," they add.
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