Recovery from back pain takes longer than thought

July 8th, 2008 - 1:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, July 8 (IANS) Recovery from lower back pain takes much longer than what popular perception believes and slower still for those with other ache variants, according to a new study. The study showed that nearly one-third of patients did not recover from the original episode of back pain within a year.

The authors, who surveyed 973 patients, concluded that prognosis from acute lower back pain was not as favourable and challenges the common belief that 90 percent of patients recover within four to six weeks.

“These are extremely important results because they confirm that low back pain is a significant health problem and that there is substantial room for improvement in its management,” said co-author Chris Maher of The George Institute.

Each patient in the study was managed by their preferred clinician; a doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor.

About 20 percent of population suffers from low back pain at any one time. The findings show that even with treatment, after two months, only 50 percent had fully recovered.

At one year, about 40 percent reported that their back was still causing them pain.

The findings of the study have been published in The British Medical Journal.

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