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Disabil Rehabil. 2010;32(23):1966-71. doi: 10.3109/09638281003797349.

A bio-psycho-social approach for treating sub-acute low back pain.

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IRCCS Rehabilitation Institute San Raffaele Pisana, Rome I-00163, Italy.



This article examines the distinctive opportunities and challenges involved in treating sub-acute low back pain (LBP). Several risk factors have been identified. Thus, a multi-disciplinary design and a comprehensive bio-psycho-social approach seem to be the best modality of intervention to improve outcome.


The relevant literature on various factors that are supposed to improve outcome is summarised and discussed.


A controversial on the rehabilitation benefits still exists. From one side, meta-analytic studies provide a small evidence of effectiveness. Most treatments for chronic LBP provide weak results and the benefits can be just transient. From the other side, comprehensive bio-psycho-social approaches seem to be the best modality of intervention to facilitate physical outcome and return to work.


This article reflects the conviction that clinicians with a special knowledge on LBP problems and researchers with a special knowledge on health policy will better work together. Their targets are outcome and cost-benefit ratio by taking into account the economical and political milieu of the country where the research is carried out.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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