Treatment of low back pain: myths and facts

Schmerz. 2001 Dec;15(6):499-503. doi: 10.1007/s004820100038.


Question: Which are the most effective treatments for acute and chronic low back pain?

Methods: Systematic reviews were conducted including identification and selection of relevant trials, assessment of the methodological quality, data extraction (study populations, interventions, and outcomes), and data analysis.

Results: acute low back pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and muscle relaxants relieve pain more than placebo; advice to stay active speeds up recovery and reduces chronic disability; bed rest and specific back exercises are not effective.

Results: chronic low back pain. Exercise therapy, back schools, behavioral therapy, and multidisciplinary programs are effective.

Conclusions: Scientific evidence shows that an active approach to low back pain patients is effective.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnosis
  • Low Back Pain / etiology
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Reproducibility of Results