UMMS Affiliation

School of Medicine; Senior Scholars Program

Faculty Mentor

Matthew Brown, MD

Publication Date


Document Type



Anesthesia and Analgesia | Diagnosis | Medical Education | Medical Physiology | Musculoskeletal Diseases | Pain Management | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms | Therapeutics


Purpose of Review: Low back pain encompasses three distinct sources: axial lumbosacral, radicular, and referred pain. Annually, the prevalence of low back pain in the general U.S. adult population is 10-30%, and the lifetime prevalence of U.S. adults is as high as 65-80%.

Recent Findings: Patient history, physical exam, and diagnostic testing are important components to accurate diagnosis and identification of patient pathophysiology. Etiologies of low back pain include myofascial pain, facet joint pain, sacroiliac joint pain, discogenic pain, and spinal stenosis, and failed back surgery. In chronic back pain patients, a multidisciplinary, logical approach to treatment is most effective and can include multimodal medical, psychological, physical, and interventional approaches.

Summary: Low back pain is a difficult condition to effectively treat and continues to affect millions of Americans every year. In the current investigation, we present a comprehensive review of low back pain and discuss associated pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment.


low back pain, diagnosis, pathophysiology, treatment

Rights and Permissions

Copyright is held by the author(s), with all rights reserved.

DOI of Published Version


Journal/Book/Conference Title

2019 Senior Scholars Program Poster Presentation Day


Lauren Testa participated in this study as a medical student as part of the Senior Scholars research program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her work was presented on Senior Scholars Program Poster Presentation Day at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, on May 1, 2019.