Secondary prevention of low back pain

What is the effect of a self-management programme on the risk of recurrence and impact of low back pain?

Low back pain is a highly prevalent condition worldwide. Most people with an episode of low back pain improve quickly, but around half of people who recover get a recurrence of their low back pain within a year.

A recent randomised controlled trial tested whether a programme based on exercise and education could prevent recurrences of low back pain in people who had recently (within the prior 6 months) recovered from low back pain.

It is interesting to speculate whether a treatment could prevent care seeking even though it does not affect the impact of low back pain.

Although both interventions in this study offered strategies for self-management, the more intensive experimental intervention may have reinforced this message more effectively. Perhaps the experimental intervention does not delay the recurrence of low back pain and it still impacts people's lives, but it does effectively teach patients to self-manage well enough so that they do not need to seek care from a healthcare practitioner when low back pain recurs.

> From: De Campos et al., J Physiother 66 (2020) 166-173 . All rights reserved to Australian Physiotherapy Association. Click here for the online summary.

Want to read deeper into this topic? Have a look at the free full text version of this article published in Journal of Physiotherapy!

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