Persistent low back pain is often ascribed to lumbar disc disease. Frequently no objective evidence supports this and the management is designed solely to alleviate symptoms. Inflammatory arthritis, metabolic bone disease, ligamentous injuries, metastases, infections, uterine disease, retroperitoneal lesions involving the lumbo-sacral plexus, renal disease, intraspinal lesions and depression may also cause low back pain and should be considered in the management of the patient. Occasionally appropriate special investigations are necessary. Lumbar disc lesions may cause acute, sub-acute or chronic symptoms and the management differs accordingly.
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