Patients with acute low back pain have poor prognosis

Patients with acute low back pain have poor prognosis
Few patients with acute low back pain, with or without sciatica, declare sick leave; however, approximately half have one or more recurrences and a considerable proportion experience chronic pain six months or longer after the initial episode, according to a study published in the April 15 issue of Spine.

(HealthDay) -- Few patients with acute low back pain (LBP), with or without sciatica, declare sick leave; however, approximately half have one or more recurrences and a considerable proportion experience chronic pain six months or longer after the initial episode, according to a study published in the April 15 issue of Spine.

Wolf E. Mehling, M.D., of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues conducted a involving 605 patients with up to 30 days of acute LBP, with or without sciatica, to evaluate the prognosis of these patients who are treated in the primary care setting. A total of 521 patients were available for follow-up at six months and 443 patients were available for follow-up at two years.

On a scale of one to 10, the researchers found the average of to be 5.6. The average disability score, measured on the Roland-Morris scale from 0 to 24, was 15.8. Between pain onset and baseline interview, only 8 percent declared sick leave. Chronic pain was experienced by 13 and 19 percent at six months and two years, respectively. Approximately half of patients experienced one or more recurrences of LBP (54 percent at six months and 47 percent in the subsequent 18 months).

"The prognosis of strictly defined acute LBP, with or without , is less favorable than commonly stated in practice guidelines based on failure to return to work " the authors write. "Broad initiatives to develop new means for the primary and secondary prevention of recurrent and chronic LBP are urgently needed."

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Low back pain counseling strategy ups return to work

Feb 28, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Combining a disability evaluation with proactive counseling for workers with low back pain (LBP) results in a higher return-to-work rate, which is statistically significant at one year, according ...

Classification-based therapy no better for back pain

Feb 21, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Treatment of patients with lower back pain (LBP) using a classification-based physical therapy approach shows no statistically significant superiority to treatment with usual physical therapy ...

Pattern of disc degeneration impacts low back pain

Apr 12, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Contiguous, multilevel disc degeneration (CMDD) is associated with increased likelihood of low back pain (LBP) and pain severity compared with skipped level disc degeneration (SLDD), according ...

Recommended for you

Lebanon reports first suspected case of Ebola

1 hour ago

A Lebanese man who arrived from West Africa is suspected of having Ebola and was quarantined on Thursday in a Beirut hospital, the first such suspected case in the country, Lebanon's health minister said.

New, faster therapeutic hypothermia techniques

1 hour ago

Rapid lowering of body temperature following an acute myocardial infarction (MI) can be an effective therapeutic strategy to minimize damage to the heart muscle caused by the loss and restoration of blood ...

Sri Lanka celebrates two years without malaria

5 hours ago

Sri Lanka has not reported a local case of malaria since October 2012, according to the Sri Lankan Anti-Malarial Campaign. If it can remain malaria-free for one more year, the country will be eligible to apply to the World ...

User comments