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Chronic back pain cured by low-dose levodopa: is it a variant of restless legs syndrome?

Authors Zeng Z, Liang Y, Chen Y, Jing X, Peng S, Tao E

Received 13 November 2017

Accepted for publication 3 January 2018

Published 2 February 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 277—279

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S156894

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Schatman


Zhi-Fen Zeng, Yan-Ran Liang, Ying Chen, Xiu-Na Jing, Su-Dan Peng, En-Xiang Tao

Department of Neurology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Abstract: Chronic back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work and visits to the doctor. This report presents 2 interesting cases of chronic back pain that were effectively relieved by low-dose levodopa. These 2 patients showed no sign of anatomical problem of the spine or relative structures, but the discomforts on the back manifested some characteristics resembling those in restless legs syndrome (RLS), and one of them actually developed RLS after many years of back problem. We believe that this type of chronic back pain might be a variant of RLS, which we would like to call “restless back”, and it can be effectively treated by dopaminergic drugs.

Keywords: chronic back pain, restless legs syndrome, levodopa

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