Back pain being mismanaged, warn experts in The Australian

Chronic low back pain patients were some of the most difficult to manage back when I had an office-based medical practice. From The Australian:

Most cases respond to simple physical and psychological therapies aimed at keeping people active and able to stay at work, according to a series of papers published in The Lancet.

Instead experts claim many back pain sufferers are wrongly being treated in hospital emergency departments, referred for scans or surgery, encouraged to rest and stop work, and prescribed powerful opioid pain killers.Co-author, University of Sydney author Professor Chris Maher said millions of people across the world are getting the wrong care for low back pain.

“More care does not mean better care. More aggressive treatments for low back pain have little proven benefit and have the potential to make things significantly worse for patients,” Professor Maher warned.

“Evidence suggests that low back pain should be managed in primary care, with the first line of treatment being education and advice to keep active and at work.”However, in reality, a high proportion of patients worldwide are treated in emergency departments, encouraged to rest and stop work, are commonly referred for scans or surgery, or prescribed pain killers including opioids, which are discouraged for treating low back pain.”

Source: Back pain being mismanaged, warn experts

I suspect back extension exercises are a key preventative measure.

One of the article’s quoted experts said it’s important to address obesity. I’m doing my best.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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