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Back Pain And

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The role of the thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) in common spinal disorders is frequently overlooked. This may be due to a number of reasons:

(1) The patients virtually never complain of pain at the level of the TLJ. Pain caused by a disorder at this site is invariably referred to a different site.

(2) Only rarely will there be radiographically demonstrable degenerative disease at the level of the TLJ (T11 - T12 - L1).

(3) The diagnosis can be made only in the light of a detailed and systematic clinical examination, which will show a tender spinal segment at this level.


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Thoracolumbar Junction Responsible for 40% of Low Back Pain

by Joseph Kurnik,DC

The thoracolumbar junction syndrome, also known as Maigne's syndrome, has been thought to be responsible for up to 40 percent of common low back pain. This percentage is based upon R. Maigne's personal statistical study of 500 cases. This may not represent a purely scientific study, but it is the observation of a respected practitioner. It is also a fairly awesome statement-when considered in relation to the emphasis chiropractors place upon lower lumbar and sacroiliac adjusting and segmental traction procedures.

I would consider the "40 percent" statement as being conservative. In my experience, I have seen the thoracolumbar region responsible or a contributor to well over half of sacroiliac dysfunction and/or common low back pain. As a result of these observations, I increasingly begin treatment of low back pain with thoracolumbar adjusting.


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