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Invited Commentary
May 2015

Reassuring Patients About Low Back Pain

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • 2Department of Medical Inforamtics & Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(5):743-744. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.0252

Low back pain is one of the most commonly encountered conditions in clinical practice. Despite trends showing increasing use of advanced imaging tests, opioids, and invasive surgical and interventional procedures, with attendant increases in costs, the prevalence and burdens associated with low back pain appear to be on the rise.1

Most acute low back pain improves substantially within the first 4 weeks. However, a small proportion of patients with acute low back pain go on to develop chronic disabling symptoms. Such patients often are refractory to treatments and account for the majority of the costs associated with low back pain. Preventing the transition from acute to chronic low back pain is therefore an important goal of current evaluation and management strategies.

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