Now, recovery from chronic backache possible

October 8th, 2009 - 5:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Oct 8 (IANS) Over a third of patients will recover from chronic low back pain within nine months and four out of 10 will do so within a year, according to a new research.
This is the first study of its kind and the results go against the common view that recovery from an episode of chronic low backache is unlikely.

Luciola da Menezes Costa, from the University of Sydney, who led the study, says individuals with previous sick leave due to low backache, high disability levels, low levels of education and being born overseas were more likely to have delayed recovery.

Chronic low backache is a major health problem and places a huge social and economic burden on society, say the study authors. They also argue that there is currently considerable uncertainty associated with recovery rates.

The participants were drawn from a larger group of patients who attended primary care clinics in Sydney with a new episode of low back pain.

These patients had visited their health care provider with acute low backache (meaning that the episode had lasted for more than 24 hours but less than two weeks).

Patients with serious spinal health problems such as cancer, infection, fractures or inflammatory arthritis were excluded from the study.

Those who had not recovered by 90 days were considered to have chronic non-specific low back pain and joined the current study.

The researchers followed up 400 patients with chronic non-specific low back pain with a telephone interview assessing pain and disability levels and work status nine and 12 months later.

The results reveal that a reasonable number of participants had complete recovery within a year of first developing chronic low back pain (35 percent by nine months, 41 percent by one year).

These findings were published on the website www.bmj.com Thursday.

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