Low back pain outcomes not improved by early imaging

Low back pain outcomes not improved by early imaging
For workers with low back pain, early magnetic resonance imaging is not associated with better health outcomes at one year, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of Spine.

(HealthDay) -- For workers with low back pain, early magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is not associated with better health outcomes at one year, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of Spine.

Janessa M. Graves, M.P.H., Ph.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a nonrandomized, prospective, cohort study involving 1,226 Washington State workers' compensation claimants to examine the association between early MRI (within six weeks of injury) and health outcomes at one year after acute low back injury.

The researchers found that 18.6 percent of participants received early MRI. The majority of participants had mild/minor sprains (77.9 percent) and radiculopathy (22.1 percent). Early imaging was not associated with substantial differences in the one-year health outcomes for sprains or radiculopathy, after adjustment for covariates. Early imaging was associated with a two-fold increase in the likelihood of benefits at one year for those with a mild/major sprain (adjusted relative risk, 2.03), but not with increased risk of long-term disability for those with radiculopathy. For both groups, early imaging correlated with significantly longer duration of disability.

"The relationship between early lumbar imaging, health care utilization, time away from work, and health outcomes warrants further investigation to determine possible mechanisms of treatment and recovery," the authors write.

One or more of the authors disclosed to a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of the study.

More information: Full Text

Related Stories

Catastrophizing doesn't predict low back pain evolution

date Aug 16, 2012

(HealthDay) -- For adult patients with acute or chronic low back pain (LBP), assessing the baseline score for catastrophizing does not help clinicians in routine clinical practice predict the evolution of ...

Routine scans for low-back pain do not improve outcomes

date Feb 06, 2009

Physicians should not immediately order routine scans for low-back pain unless they observe features of a serious underlying condition, researchers in the Oregon Evidence-Based Practice Center at Oregon Health & Science University ...

Recommended for you

Dengue cases soar in Brazil, as death toll climbs

date 8 hours ago

Cases of dengue have soared in Brazil where the disease has caused 229 fatalities this year, the Health Ministry said Monday, as authorities try to combat its spread using transgenic mosquitos.

Meningitis epidemic kills more than 250 in Niger

date 10 hours ago

A meningitis epidemic in poverty-stricken Niger has claimed 252 lives since January, a health official said Monday, warning the country was short of vaccines to fight the outbreak.

New hope for short bowel syndrome

date 16 hours ago

Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have successfully made a small intestine that has the structural and molecular components of a healthy intestine.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.