JOURNAL ARTICLE

An evidence-based diagnostic classification system for low back pain

Robert Vining, Eric Potocki, Michael Seidman, A Paige Morgenthal
Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association 2013, 57 (3): 189-204
23997245

INTRODUCTION: While clinicians generally accept that musculoskeletal low back pain (LBP) can arise from specific tissues, it remains difficult to confirm specific sources.

METHODS: Based on evidence supported by diagnostic utility studies, doctors of chiropractic functioning as members of a research clinic created a diagnostic classification system, corresponding exam and checklist based on strength of evidence, and in-office efficiency.

RESULTS: THE DIAGNOSTIC CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM CONTAINS ONE SCREENING CATEGORY, TWO PAIN CATEGORIES: Nociceptive, Neuropathic, one functional evaluation category, and one category for unknown or poorly defined diagnoses. Nociceptive and neuropathic pain categories are each divided into 4 subcategories.

CONCLUSION: This article describes and discusses the strength of evidence surrounding diagnostic categories for an in-office, clinical exam and checklist tool for LBP diagnosis. The use of a standardized tool for diagnosing low back pain in clinical and research settings is encouraged.

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