There's an ongoing trend in medicine for evidence-based care. Instead of a feel-good-for-the-moment approach, there must be some proof that the treatment actually works.
In the case of low back pain (LBP), some evidence-based guidelines are available. Patient education is the first and most important element. Patients must be informed about the causes and treatment of back pain. Many people with back pain are fearful and anxious about their symptoms but also about what will happen to them.
Listening to the patient and offering explanations and reassurance are the first two steps in the evidence-based approach. Doctors must be able to explain the concepts of back pain management in such a way that patients are convinced to follow the plan.
The doctor must be able to help patients see how and why their beliefs are wrong, and why a different method is best. They can do this by being informed themselves. Keeping up on the latest studies published in medical journals is a key factor. Letting their patients know what is valid, reliable, and effective is the goal.
And according to several large studies, this approach works well. The cost of treatment is much lower. Patients report a greater reduction in their pain. The results last six months to a year or more. A large number of patients were fully recovered. Only six per cent had another episode of back pain.
Can Evidence-Based Guidelines Address the Complexities of Back Pain in the Workplace? In The BackLetter. April 2007. Vol. 22. No. 4. Pp. 37, 44, 46.