Low back pain: A ride through the guidelines.

Our paper[1] in the latest special edition of Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology on back pain aimed to compare, contrast and discuss 3 recent international guidelines for the management of low back pain. The clinical marketplace for low back pain treatments is flourishing. Lots of different professions have carved out their … [Read more...]

Special edition on Back Pain in Best Practice Clinical & Research Rheumatology

Best Practice Clinical & Research Rheumatology is one of the leading journals in the Rheumatology field, and it has a rather unusual format. Each edition is a collection of 10 articles on a particular theme or condition. A special edition on Back Pain comes up about every 4 years or so, and this time around we were invited to edit the … [Read more...]

Is there a neural basis for sensorimotor impairments in non-specific low back pain?

Globally, low back pain causes more disability than any other condition. Unfortunately, most people will experience this condition at some point in their lives. Treating low back pain is very challenging because in up to 85% of cases, the pain cannot be attributed to a specific spinal pathology, such as a fracture or herniated disc. This is called … [Read more...]

Twin Studies Lend New Insights into Link between Depression and Back Pain

The prevalence of patients concurrently suffering from both depression and low back pain is high and the combination of these conditions is associated with treatment difficulties, such as the need for engaging multi-professional teams and higher rates of health care utilization and management costs (Baumeister et al., 2012; Greenberg et al., 2003). … [Read more...]

The (potential) impact of choosing words carefully……

It is common for people with low back pain (LBP) to see their local doctor for assessment and advice – especially when symptoms are severe or prolonged enough to be worrying. Doctors’ management approaches vary, but clinical guidelines consistently recommend some principles of ‘best practice’ care to follow when there is low suspicion of a serious … [Read more...]

A misty, multidimensional crystal ball

Wouldn’t it be great if we could give our patients a prognosis that is evidence based and tailored to their presentation? Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is, however, a complex multidimensional problem, and over 200 factors (from multiple dimensions such as demographics, psychological, social, health and lifestyle etc.) may be prognostic for people … [Read more...]

What app is good for my back?

The rate of smartphone ownership in Australia is among the highest in the world. According to the Deloitte 2015 Consumer Survey, almost 80% of Australians own a smartphone. Online technologies, such as apps, can help us manage our health and they are influencing healthcare in new and exciting ways. There are currently over 259,000 health apps … [Read more...]

Can fear of movement lead to physical inactivity in low back pain?

It’s well known for most health professionals who regularly treat patients with back pain that often patients are afraid of moving because they believe that movement will cause further pain and injury. This fear of movement, and belief that physical activities will cause (re)injury, is the central concept of the well-known Fear-Avoidance Model. … [Read more...]

“I need to do another course” – Physiotherapists’ views on assessing psychosocial factors in chronic low back pain

Psychosocial factors (PS) are described as the combination of an individual’s cognitive, emotional and social status that can influence their health status (Singla et al., 2015) and they include: patients’ beliefs that pain and activity are harmful, fear avoidance beliefs, negative behaviours, lack of support, overprotective families, physical … [Read more...]

Paracetamol for acute low back pain – a cheap fix or a waste of health resources?

Many of us have the humble paracetamol pill in the cupboard at home, and reach for it when we experience pain. But recent research shows that paracetamol does not provide more pain relief than a placebo pill in low back pain and osteoarthritis [1]. A more detailed way of explaining this is that paracetamol does not provide extra pain relief for … [Read more...]