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Feature Article

Acute low back pain: beyond physical therapies

Peter O’Sullivan, Ivan Lin

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Abstract

An approach to low back pain should involve an initial triage to screen for serious pathology, assessment for psychosocial risk, clear explanations to reduce the sense of threat, active rehabilitation and discouragement of unwarranted radiological investigation.

Key Points

  • The burden of low back pain can be reduced if management is more aligned with evidence.
  • The evidence supports a patient-centred approach to low back pain care that addresses the biopsychosocial influences on the disorder and empowers patients to actively self-manage.
  • Radiological imaging should only be undertaken when there are clear indications for its use.
  • Short, easy-to-use, evidence-based tools are available to assist clinicians in managing patients with low back pain.

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