In the assessment of the lumbar spine by magnetic resonance imaging (hereinafter, "MRI"), changes in the paraspinal muscles are overlooked. The purpose of our study is to examine the correlation between the multifidus muscle atrophy on MRI findings and the clinical findings in low back pain (hereinafter, "LBP") patients.
The retrospective study on 38 LBP patients, presenting either with or without associated leg pains, was undertaken. The MRI findings on the patients were visually analysed to find out a lumbar multifidus muscle atrophy, disc herniation, disc degeneration, spinal stenosis and nerve root compressions. The clinical history in each case was obtained from their case notes and pain drawing charts.
The lumbar multifidus muscle atrophy has occurred from more than 80% of the patients with LBP. Most of lumbar multifidus muscle atrophies have increased from lower level of lumbar spine. It was bilateral in the majority of the cases. In addition, multifidus muscle atrophy was correlated to the patient's age, disc degenerations and spinal stenosis. On the contrary, gender, the duration of LBP, referred leg pain, disc herniation and nerve root compressions had no relevance to multifidus muscle atrophies. Therefore, when assessing the MRIs of the lumbar spine, we should have more attetion on multifidus muscle, because it has lot's of information about spinal neuropathy problems.
Therefore, the examination of multifidus muscle atrophies should be considered when assessing the MRIs of the lumbar spine. In addition, it helps to evaluate and plan the treatment modalities of LBP. Moreover, it prevents from LBP by discovering the importance between the multifidus muscle and the spine stabilization exercise.