(HealthDay News) — There is a significant association between certain easily identifiable criteria, including mechanism of injury and area of pain, and nonorganic low back pain among worker’s compensation (WC) patients, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

Jeremy T. Rohrlich, from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and colleagues conducted a retrospective chart review of 127 WC patients with low back pain seen in consultation by a single spine surgeon over a two-year period at a university medical center. Putative risk factors for nonorganic pain were identified.

The researchers found that mechanism of injury, including slip and fall or lifting of a patient (odds ratio [OR], 5.7); alleged injury in greater than two bodily areas (OR, 4.2); presence of concomitant cervical and thoracic complaints (OR, 2.9); initial presentation to chiropractor (OR, 7.7); and back pain not listed on first report of injury (OR, 3.3) were significantly associated with nonorganic pain. The risk of having nonorganic pain was very high (>95%) for patients with three or more of these findings.

“This information may help the specialist and the WC provider identify patients at a high risk for nonorganic pain, thereby reducing unnecessary costs,” the authors write.

One author provided expert testimony for Workmans’ compensation/personal injury cases and medical malpractice cases, and disclosed ties to the medical device industry.

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