Contemporary low back pain research - and implications for practice

Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2010 Apr;24(2):291-8. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2010.01.001.


Each month, several journals contain reports on new ways of looking at low back pain-related risk and prognostic factors, new clinical interventions and suggestions for improved care. This is because back pain continues to be a vexing condition to manage. It often defies evaluation, diagnosis and treatment, and is associated with considerable individual suffering and negative societal impact. Although reviewing new and promising strategies is always interesting and gratifying for the reader, it is sobering to reconsider similar efforts over the past decades. Most new ideas for low back pain care have not proven to be effective when subjected to repeated rigorous and independent evaluation. New developments in epidemiologic and clinical understanding, and innovative approaches to non-medical management now appear to provide the best opportunities for improving outcomes. In this article, we review new perspectives and research studies that show promise, and suggest alternatives to current clinical and research paradigms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / trends*
  • Education, Public Health Professional*
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnosis*
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Low Back Pain / therapy
  • Professional Practice*
  • Prognosis