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The Lumbar Lordosis in Acute and Chronic Low-Back Pain

HANSSON, TOMMY, MD*; BIGOS, STANLEY, MD; BEECHER, PATRIC, MD; WORTLEY, MARK, MPT

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To evaluate a possible relationship between the amount of lumbar lordosis in asymptomatic as well as subjects with acute and chronic low-back pain, the amount of lordosis was determined from spinal roentgenograms of 600 men between 20 and 63 years of age. The angle between a line parallel to the cranial end-plate of L1 and S1 was defined as the lordosis angle. The amount of lordosis was distributed similarly according to age within each of the three groups and was also similar in comparisons between the groups. The men were randomly selected to represent three different groups. Each group included 200 age-matched subjects with similar occupation. The first group consisted of men claiming no previous back-pain history who underwent spinal x-ray as a part of a preemployment examination. The second group consisted of men who had a spinal x-ray examination after claiming their first low-back injury, but not preemployment screening. The third group consisted of x-ray examination of men evaluated for chronic low back disability. The findings thus indicated that the distribution and range of lordosis as viewed by clinicians and radiologists does not vary in the acute or with chronic low-back pain, more than in men without back pain of the same age.

Departments of Orthopaedics, *University of Göteborg, Sahlgren Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden and University of Washington, Scattle, Washington.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.