Reference Work Entry

Evidence-Based Neuroimaging Diagnosis and Treatment

Part of the series Evidence-Based Imaging pp 499-510

Spinal Injections for Low Back Pain: Evidence-Based Treatment

  • John A. CarrinoAffiliated withRussell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Nikolai BogdukAffiliated withNewcastle Bone and Joint Institute, Royal Newcastle Center, University of Newcastle


Low back pain is a distinctly different condition from lumbar radicular pain (sometimes called “sciatica”). Radicular pain is lancinating pain that travels into the lower limb along a narrow band [1]. It is caused by disc herniation, foraminal stenosis, lateral recess stenosis, or other space-occupying lesions in the vertebral canal that compromise lumbosacral nerve roots. In contrast, low back is dull, aching pain that is centered on the lumbar, or lumbosacral, spine but may radiate into the buttocks or proximal thigh; it can radiate beyond the knee but not typically so. Its causes are elusive and difficult to determine.