Differential Diagnosis. II. Psychogenic Pain

  • F. Postacchini
  • G. Giannicola


Knowledge of the influence of the psychologic factors on low back or lumboradicular pain have considerably improved in the last 50 years (48). In the 50’s and 60’s, a dichotomous opinion prevailed, according to which low back pain was purely organic or psychologic in nature. Clinical studies, in that period, were mainly aimed at identifying the psychologic factors which might predict the results of surgery. However, many of these studies had methodological defects and the results were often conflicting. In the 70’s, the clinical studies were carried out on patient populations, mostly small and selected, often consisting of “difficult” cases unresponsive to various treatments, using different criteria for the diagnosis of psychologic disorders. This led to obtain extremely different percentages of prevalence of the psychologic disorders in patients with low back pain. In recent years, the evaluation methods have attained a higher level of standardization and many studies have been epidemiological in nature, with the aim of clarifying the relationships between low back pain and the patient’s psychologic traits.


Chronic Pain Lumbar Disc Herniation Chronic Pain Patient Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Illness Behavior 
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  • F. Postacchini
  • G. Giannicola

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