Changes of paraspinal muscle morphology in patients with chronic non-specific low back pain

Authors: E. Vagaská 1;  T. Andrašina 2;  S. Voháňka 1;  B. Adamová 1
Authors‘ workplace: Neurologická klinika LF MU a FN Brno 1;  Radiologická klinika LF MU a FN Brno 2
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2019; 82(5): 505-512
Category: Review Article
doi: 10.14735/amcsnn2019505


Low back pain (LBP) is a frequent and major health problem. Paraspinal muscles play an important role in trunk movements, help­­ing to maintain posture and spinal stability. Changes of paraspinal muscle morphology and function are described in patients with chronic LBP. Macroscopic changes can be evaluated by CT and especial­ly by MRI, while microscopic changes are as­ses­sed by muscle bio­psy. There is evidence available in literature stat­­ing that atrophy of paraspinal muscles and increased fat deposits in the paraspinal muscles are significantly as­sociated with non-specific LBP, especial­ly with chronic LBP. From a dif­ferential dia­gnostic point of view, changes in paraspinal muscles as­sociated with LBP must be distinguished from paraspinal muscle involvement in patients with axial myopathies, but these are rare. The aim of this paper is to highlight the structural and functional changes of paraspinal muscles in patients with chronic non-specific LBP. A dia­gnostic algorithm for chronic LBP as­sociated with degeneration of paraspinal muscles to exclude the presence of axial myopathy is presented.

The authors declare they have no potential conflicts of interest concerning drugs, products, or services used in the study.

The Editorial Board declares that the manu­script met the ICMJE “uniform requirements” for biomedical papers.


Spine – low back pain – paraspinal muscles – fat infiltration – axial myopathies


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