Cutting Edge Psychology

Best medical practice for back pain?

Posted on July 29, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Researchers in America have recently demonstrated that many physicians are not treating their patients with back pain according to best practice treatment guidelines. These include reassurance that most incidences of back pain are not resulting from serious spinal conditions; information that spine pathology is common also in the non-pained population; encouragement to keep moving as much as possible, and to return to work as soon as possible; some low level and temporary use of analgesics if needed; and referral to spinal manipulation therapies only for acute pain relating to a recent injury; refraining from making referrals for surgery (usually not needed and not effective in chronic back pain), referrals for imaging, e.g XRays and scans, and referrals for physical therapy for chronic back pain.

Read the article.

Similar findings have just recently been reported in Australia, where researchers in Melbourne have also concluded that many physicians are simply not following the recommended treatment guidelines.

Unfortunately, while the best treatment guidelines are making it clear what needs to Not be done with people suffering chronic back pain, they are saying almost nothing about what does need to be done for such sufferers. Avoiding the pitfalls of non-sensical approaches is only half of the equation- people need to also learn what could be creating/contributing to their chronic pain in terms of psycho-social factors. Adding this awareness into the equation completes the picture, and the possibility of recovering from chronic pain emerges.

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