Lege Artis Medicinae

[Back pain]

ANDREW Frank1

FEBRUARY 28, 1994

Lege Artis Medicinae - 1994;4(02)

[The studies to be presented show that the duration and severity of episodes of low back pain can be reduced, thus reducing the risk of recurrence and the costs of sick leave and absenteeism. Frank reviews differential diagnosis; acute, chronic and intractable pain; and the health services needed. Modern treatment principles emphasise self-care at home, usually with no more than 48 hours bed rest. The importance of regaining physical fitness and resuming other activities, including work, is also stressed. Medication helps to achieve these goals. Two issues are emphasised: the strategy for the management of low back pain should be long-term and preventive; it is the responsibility of the patient, not the doctors, to maintain fitness, exercise regularly, do relaxation exercises and avoid damaging the spine. ]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. consultant physician in rheumatology and rehabilitation, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow

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