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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 5349620, 6 pages
Review Article

The Lumbodorsal Fascia as a Potential Source of Low Back Pain: A Narrative Review

1Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2Fascia Research Group, Neurosurgical Clinic Guenzburg, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany
3Department of Molecular Medicine, Institute of Human Anatomy, University of Padova, Padova, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Jan Wilke; ed.trufknarf-inu.trops@ekliw

Received 9 December 2016; Accepted 24 April 2017; Published 11 May 2017

Academic Editor: Jan Dommerholt

Copyright © 2017 Jan Wilke et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The lumbodorsal fascia (LF) has been proposed to represent a possible source of idiopathic low back pain. In fact, histological studies have demonstrated the presence of nociceptive free nerve endings within the LF, which, furthermore, appear to exhibit morphological changes in patients with chronic low back pain. However, it is unclear how these characteristics relate to the aetiology of the pain. In vivo elicitation of back pain via experimental stimulation of the LF suggests that dorsal horn neurons react by increasing their excitability. Such sensitization of fascia-related dorsal horn neurons, in turn, could be related to microinjuries and/or inflammation in the LF. Despite available data point towards a significant role of the LF in low back pain, further studies are needed to better understand the involved neurophysiological dynamics.