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Article
August 26, 1944

TREATMENT OF RECURRING ATTACKS OF LOW BACKACHE WITHOUT SCIATICA

JAMA. 1944;125(17):1175-1178. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850350013004

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Abstract

Recurring attacks of low lumbar backache, plus sciatica in the back of the leg, are almost pathognomonic of defective intervertebral disks. With few exceptions the backache and sciatica are intensified by coughing and sneezing during the periods of acute pain. A frequent story given by these patients is that for some weeks, months or years there are only recurring attacks of backache, i. e. without the sciatica, and that at a later date the sciatica is superimposed. Such histories suggest that with the recurrent backaches alone one is dealing with precisely the same underlying lesion as when the sciatica is added. This report of 20 cases is from this group, none of whom have ever had sciatica. Moreover, there is no greater uncertainty in the diagnosis of the lesion without, than with, sciatica; nor is there any greater difficulty in localizing the affected disk or disks. It is by no

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