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Medical News and Perspectives
November 21, 2007

Medical Groups Release New Guidelines for Treatment of Low Back Pain

JAMA. 2007;298(19):2253. doi:10.1001/jama.298.19.2253

Physicians treating patients with low back pain should carefully assess the cause of their pain, whether nonspecific or the consequence of an underlying condition, and be selective about the use of diagnostic imaging, according to new guidelines on the treatment of low back pain released by the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society in October (Chou R et al. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147[7]:478-491).

A lack of evidence-based guidelines for treating low back pain prompted the 2 organizations to develop the guidelines, said Amir Qaseem, MD, PhD, MHA, of the American College of Physicians. The document's recommendations are based on an extensive literature review, and a panel of experts from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society evaluated the strength of the evidence for various recommendations included in the guidelines using a system created by the US Preventive Services Task Force.

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