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July 1985

Noninvasive Diagnosis of Lower Back Pain

Author Affiliations

Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic, PA PO Box 10707 Raleigh, NC 27605

Arch Neurol. 1985;42(7):627. doi:10.1001/archneur.1985.04060070013007

To the Editor.  —The June 1984 issue of the Archives had an interesting editorial by Stein1 regarding a report by Khatri et al2 on electromyography and computed tomographic evaluation of lower back pain.Having seen several thousand patients with pain in the back radiating into a leg, it is very difficult to help being biased. As the years go along, I am more and more impressed by the authenticity of the diagnostic value of good histories and physical examinations.To use the phraseology of the authors, these procedures "are noninvasive" and are cost-effective. Little attention was paid to these noninvasive procedures in these two publications.As these are still the most effective diagnostic methods of evaluation of lower back pain, I hope that these are not being overlooked as diagnostic procedures. Hopefully, more and more emphasis will be placed on the skill required for obtaining and interpreting histories