Introduction: During the past decades several rating scales have been developed to assess the functional status of patients with low back pain.
Methods: We performed a search using the keywords 'spine' in combination with 'scoring system', 'scale', 'scores', 'outcome assessment', 'low back pain' and 'clinical evaluation'.
Results: Twenty-eight scoring systems are currently available for the evaluation of low back pain. Each of them evaluates low back pain using specific variables. All these scoring systems are presented.
Discussion: Although many scoring systems have been used to evaluate the back function, we are still far from a single outcome evaluation system that is reliable, valid and sensitive to clinically relevant changes, taken into account both patients' and physicians' perspective and is short and practical to use.
Conclusion: Further studies are required to evaluate the reliability, validity and sensitivity of the low back pain scoring systems used in the common clinical practice.