A comparative roentgenographic study was carried out on 217 asymptomatic
patients between forty and seventy years old and 387 symptomatic patients
in the same age range. Spondylosis (osteophyte formation) did not appear to
have any direct relationship to low-back pain. Degenerative disc disease
appeared to be a major cause of low-back pain. Spondylolysis and
spondylolisthesis occurred more frequently in the symptomatic than in the
asymptomatic patients. Routine roentgenograms of the lumbosacral spine were
useful in evaluating patients seen for treatment of low-back pain.