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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 478798, 10 pages
Review Article

Evaluation of Diagnosis Techniques Used for Spinal Injury Related Back Pain

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2G8
2Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2G4

Received 26 January 2011; Accepted 11 April 2011

Academic Editor: Gen Inoue

Copyright © 2011 Meaghan Janssen 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.


Back pain is a prevalent condition affecting much of the population at one time or the other. Complications, including neurological ones, can result from missed or mismanaged spinal abnormalities. These complications often result in serious patient injury and require more medical treatment. Correct diagnosis enables more effective, often less costly treatment methods. Current diagnosis technologies focus on spinal alterations. Only approximately 10% of back pain is diagnosable, with current diagnostic technologies. The objective of this paper is to investigate and evaluate based on specific criteria current diagnosis technique. Nine diagnostic techniques were found in the literature, namely, discography, myelography, single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT), computer tomography (CT), combined CT & SPECT, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), upright and kinematic MRI, plain radiography and cineradiography. Upon review of the techniques, it is suggested that improvements can be made to all the existing techniques for diagnosing back pain. This review will aid health service developers to focus on insufficient areas, which will help to improve existing technologies or even develop alternative ones.