Lumbago and Backache

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lumbago and Backache


symptoms of various diseases of the spinal column, the central and peripheral nervous systems, the muscles, the internal organs, and the vessels of the system of the abdominal aorta and vena cava inferior.

Lumbago and backache arise most frequently in sciatica, which may be caused by a diseased intervertebral disk, by degenerative processes of the spinal column, such as osteochondrosis and spondylosis, or by infections. Myalgia and myositis are common causes of lumbago and backache. The pain arises unexpectedly, often when the individual moves. The muscles are firm to the touch; movement is painful and difficult. Palpation of the muscles reveals indurations or nodules in addition to tenderness. Injury to the lumbar ganglions of the sympathetic nervous system causes burning pain that intensifies when the area is warmed and diminishes when it is cooled and moistened; such injury also causes herpetic eruptions.

Lumbago and backache are exceptionally painful when there are injuries to the lumbar segment of the spinal column and spinal cord, disturbances of spinal blood circulation, or tumors of the spinal column and spinal cord. Locomotor and sensory disturbances and many other symptoms often occur at the same time. Lumbago and backache that accompany diseases of the kidneys, urinary tract, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and the organs of the pelvis minor—the uterus, its appendages, and the rectum—represent referred pain.

The basic disease is treated by means of pain relievers, Novocain blocks, vitamin-B complex therapy, biogenic stimulants, desensitizing agents, physical therapy, and treatment at a sanatorium or health resort. Surgery is indicated in the case of tumors, a herniated disk, or spinal injuries affecting the spinal cord.


Guber-Grits, D. S. Zabolevaniia poiasnichno-kresttsovogo otdela perifericheskoi nervnoi sistemy. Moscow, 1960.
Kanareikin, K. F. Poiasnichno-kresttsovye boli Moscow, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.