New “Bedside Test” Expected to Simplify and Improve Back Pain Diagnosis

April 13, 2009
By Jennifer Anderson

Researchers have devised a simple “bedside” test to distinguish between pain from nerve damage and other causes of pain. The test could lead to more accurate diagnosis and treatment for a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) that plagues many workplaces – back pain. It is the most commonly cited reason for being absent from work.

The ability to determine the underlying nature of the pain more accurately is essential to choosing the best treatment, according to the researchers. It also points the way to more targeted management of the condition: just as workspaces and tasks can be modified ergonomically to help prevent certain MSDs, they can be modified to help prevent the aggravation of existing conditions. More…