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Chiropractic Research Review

Low Back Pain in Israeli Family Practice

Despite the worldwide prevalence of low back pain (LBP) in primary care settings and the variety of guidelines designed to manage this condition, there are still few universally accepted diagnostic or treatment protocols.

A study of 238 Israeli LBP patients assessed the incidence, progression and characteristics of low back pain within a national family practice research network.

During a two-month study period, new episodes of LBP were identified and monitored in 219 eligible patients, with the researchers findings presented below:

* Although a majority (71%) of the patients showed improvement in functional status, only 37% noted complete pain relief after two months;

* The strongest predictors of chronicity included depression; history of back contusion; family history of LBP or other chronic pain; coping style; and dissatisfaction with first office visit.

The authors conclude that these findings confirm the chronic nature of low back pain: "...pain does not disappear completely for most patients, and yet they continue to work." They also state that the results demonstrate more fully that psychosocial and patient-centered variables must be considered by clinicians when predicting and outlining the clinical management of LBP.

Reis S, Hermoni D, Borkan JM, et al. A new look at low back complaints in primary care. The Journal of Family Practice, April 1999:48(4), pp299-303.

Chiropractic Research Review

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