Study design: The relationship between lumbar intramuscular pressure and backache with degenerative lumbar spine diseases was examined. Lumbar intramuscular pressure in 102 patients with low back pain and in 20 normal adults was compared in different positions using Miller's microtip catheter transducer.
Objectives: This study sought to study the relationship between intramuscular pressure of the lumbar back muscles and degenerative lumbar diseases.
Summary of background data: Measurement of intramuscular pressure is an objective technique for diagnosing lumbar compartment syndrome. The diagnosis of chronic compartment syndrome of the lumbar back muscles is confirmed when an association between an increase in intramuscular pressure and the onset of back pain is established. As spinal alignment changes from lordosis to kyphosis, the intramuscular pressure increases and blood flow decreases.
Methods: Intramuscular pressure measurements of the lumbar back muscles were performed in various positions and loading. Results in patients with low back pain and in normal adults were compared.
Results: The intramuscular pressure levels were found to be closely related to position and loading. The pattern of changes in pressure depended on the type of disease. The changes in intramuscular pressure in the patients with backache were classified into four distinct patterns. Chronic compartment syndrome of the lumbar back muscles showed two pattern: waxing and plateau.
Conclusions: Measurement of intramuscular pressure of the lumbar back muscles might be an important method of obtaining a greater knowledge about backache.