The aim of the work presented in this thesis is to gain more insight into the diagnostic tools used in patients with low back pain.

In recent years, general practitioners in the Netherlands can refer low back pain patients for MRI of the lumbar spine themselves. However, data on the use of MRI by general practitioners in the Netherlands are still lacking. In the first part of this thesis, we examined how lumbar MRI is currently used by general practitioners in the Netherlands.

Identifying subgroups of patients for whom different treatments are superior has been referred to as the ‘Holy Grail’ of low back pain research. One of the possible subgroups based on pathoanatomical findings are patients with degeneration of the spine. In the second part of this thesis, we performed an epidemiological study on the characteristics of lumbar disc degeneration.

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S.M. Bierma-Zeinstra (Sita) , P.A.J. Luijsterburg (Pim)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Financial support for the publication of this thesis was kindly provided by the SBOH, employer of GP trainees, Anna Fonds Leiden, the MRI Center and the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

de Schepper, E. (2016, February 2). Diagnostics in Low Back Pain. Retrieved from