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Article
June 10, 1944

THE NEUROLOGIC ASPECTS OF LOW BACK PAIN AND SCIATICA

JAMA. 1944;125(6):416-420. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850240026006
Abstract

There is an erroneous impression among physicians that many cases of chronic back pain are the result of disease of the spinal cord, spinal meninges or spinal nerves. The fact is that disease of these organs rarely causes back pain and, when it does, the pain is overshadowed by such symptoms as paralysis, anesthesia and pain at a distance from the spine. Probably less than 1 per cent of cases of back pain are caused by primary diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems. These infrequent neurologic causes of back pain are classified and briefly discussed in the following paragraphs.

INTRACRANIAL DISEASES CAUSING BACK PAIN  Intracranial diseases causing back pain are rare and are mentioned here merely for the sake of completeness.

Subarachnoid Hemorrhage.—  Blood may enter the spinal subarachnoid space when the head is injured, when a brain tumor bleeds or when an intracranial aneurysm ruptures. Regardless of

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