New clinical guideline issued for treating low back pain

Low back pain affects millions of people in the United States, and the condition is one of the most common reasons for people missing work. New guidelines from the American College of Physicians recommend noninvasive ways of treating nonradicular low back pain.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) report that approximately 31 million U.S. individuals experience low back pain at one point during their lives. The ACA also note that low back pain is the leading cause of disability across the world, as well as one of the most popular reasons why people miss work.

The condition accounts for a large proportion of all doctor visits in the U.S., and almost 25 percent of the entire adult population in the U.S. has experienced at least one day of low back pain in the past 3 months.

The pain is typically characterized as acute if it lasts for under 4 weeks, subacute if it lasts between 4 and 12 weeks, and chronic if it lasts for more than 12 weeks.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) have published their clinical practice guideline for treating nonradicular low back pain in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Nonradicular pain refers to pain that does not irradiate from, and is not caused by, damage to the spinal nerve root.

An evidence-based guideline for clinical practice

The guideline is based on a review of randomized controlled trials and observational studies conducted on noninvasive drug and non-drug treatments for low back pain.

The health outcomes evaluated by the ACP include the reduction or complete elimination of low back pain, improvement in overall motor function and quality of life, reduction or elimination of work disability, and drug side effects. The review also looked at the number of back pain episodes and duration between episodes.

The ACP have reached their conclusions through a meticulous reviewing process that consists of several stages: a systematic review of the evidence available; a deliberation based on the evidence; a summary of the recommendations; grading the quality of the evidence; and issuing the recommendations… Read More>>

Source: Medical News Today

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