As a back and neck injury lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada, I encounter untreated or undiagnosed spine injury often. Even though back pain can affect people of any age, it is significantly more common among adults aged between 35 and 55 years.
Experts say that back pain is associated with the way our bones, muscles and ligaments in our backs work together.
There are several diagnostic tests to assist physicians in detecting and treating back and neck conditions.
An interesting review entitled "Physical examination for lumbar radiculopathy due to disc herniation in patients with low-back pain" (Van der Windt DAWM, et al. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010) reveals that diagnosing back pain is not a simple matter. I read the findings.
While lower back pain ranks as a common cause of disability in the United States, determining what causes a person’s back pain is often challenging. A new review on diagnosing back pain finds that no single diagnostic test is good at discriminating between patients who have a herniated disc and patients who do not.
Lawrence Kurz M.D., an orthopedic spinal surgeon at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., agreed with the results of this review: No one test is specific and sensitive enough to be used as the sole guide for making an accurate diagnosis of disc herniation as the cause of sciatica.
Healthy discs are spongy cushions of cartilage that fill the spaces between vertebrae in the spine. They act as shock absorbers for the spine and allow flexibility. A herniated disc can occur when a disc incurs damage because of trauma or stress and bulges outside of its normal position to press on a nerve. This can result in pain that radiates down to the lower leg – also called sciatica.
In other conditions, including osteoporosis and similar aging disorders, bony structures could press on nerves, causing pain.
Representing injured people with back and neck pain complaints requries diverse diagnositic testing. Insurance company representative all too often point to one test to either deny or rule out a condition.