Thermography in low back pain and sciatica

  • P. Gillström
Original Articles


This investigation proved that thermography is a reliable method of examination. When the difference of temperature in the legs reached 1°C or more, there was a correlation between clinical sciatica and the thermographic registration in 51 of 52 patients. As regards diagnosing the level, thermography is unreliable for distinguishing an L4/L5 syndrome from an S1 syndrome. In this investigation it was possible to correlate colder zones and the clinical syndrome in most patients. However, there is a large overlap between the dermatomes. When following up the results of autotraction no certain conclusions can be drawn, but among the patients with sciatica the decrease in temperature was greater in the group who clinically recovered.


Public Health Back Pain Reliable Method Clinical Syndrome Starke 
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Die vorliegende Untersuchung hat gezeigt, daß die Thermographie eine zuverlässige Untersuchungsmethode ist, um festzustellen, ob bei einem Ischiassyndrom das betroffene Bein kälter ist oder nicht. Wenn der Temperaturunterschied der Beine 1°C oder mehr erreicht hat, bestand bei 51 von 52 Patienten eine Übereinstimmung zwischen einem klinischen Ischiassyndrom und der thermographischen Aufzeichnung. In der Segmentdiagnostik ist die Thermographie für die Unterscheidung eines L4/L5-Syndroms von einem S1-Syndrom nicht verläßlich. In dieser Untersuchung war es bei den meisten Patienten möglich, eine Korrelation zwischen den kalten Zonen und dem klinischen Syndrom nachzuweisen. Es besteht jedoch eine starke Überlappung zwischen den Dermatomen.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Gillström
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryKarolinska HospitalStockholmSweden

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