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Managing acute low back pain

Abstract

Back pain is very common. In the UK, there were about 14 million GP consultations for back pain in 1993 and around 60-80% of the population will have had it at some time during their lives.1,2 Many attacks resolve quickly but some patients go on to develop chronic back pain and a few develop severe, long-term disability. Here we discuss the natural history, diagnosis and management of acute low back pain, focusing on simple low back pain, in which the pain is uncomplicated by nerve root involvement or serious spinal pathology.

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