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, 2008

Low Back Pain (Chronic)


Low Back Pain (Chronic)

Hamilton Hall et al. BMJ Clin Evid.


Introduction: Over 70% of people in resource-rich countries develop low back pain (LBP) at some time. But recovery is not always favourable: 82% of non-recent-onset patients still experience pain one year later. Many chronic patients who were initially told that their natural history was good spend months or years seeking relief.

Methods and outcomes: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of oral drug treatments? What are the effects of injection therapy? What are the effects of non-drug treatments? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to May 2007 (BMJ Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Results: We found 74 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.

Conclusions: In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: acupuncture, analgesics, antidepressants, back schools, behavioural therapy, electromyographic biofeedback, exercise, injections (epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, local injections), intensive multidisciplinary treatment programmes, lumbar supports, massage, muscle relaxants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), spinal manipulative therapy, traction, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

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