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Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2006 Dec;10(6):421-5.

Chronic low back pain: progress in therapy.

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  • 1Internal Medicine Training Program, Moses H. Cone Hospital, 1200 North Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27401, USA.


Low back pain is a common complaint in the primary care setting. Although most patients with acute low back pain will improve with conservative treatment, back pain often recurs, and a subset of patients will progress to chronic and sometimes disabling symptoms. A variety of treatments have been used for chronic low back pain; the best evidence supports intensive rehabilitation programs that include tailored exercise therapy in conjunction with cognitive behavioral interventions and education. The benefit of medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, and possibly antidepressants or muscle relaxants, must be weighed against potential adverse effects. There is insufficient evidence regarding the effectiveness of many of the available therapies for chronic low back pain, and well-designed, randomized controlled trials are needed to clarify the role of these treatments.

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