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Clinical Practice Guidelines 2017 for Nonradicular Low Back Pain


Clinical Practice Guidelines 2017 for Nonradicular Low Back Pain

American College of Physicians has released  A Clinical Practice Guideline on Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain. The guideline has been developed to present the evidence and provide clinical recommendations on noninvasive treatment of low back pain.The guideline development committee based these recommendations on a systematic review of randomized, controlled trials and systematic reviews published through April 2015 on noninvasive pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments for low back pain.It has been published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for physician visits in the United States and it is associated with high costs, including those related to health care and indirect costs from missed work or reduced productivity.It is frequently classified and treated on the basis of symptom duration, potential cause, presence or absence of radicular symptoms, and corresponding anatomical or radiographic abnormalities.Acute back pain is defined as lasting less than 4 weeks, subacute back pain lasts 4 to 12 weeks, and the chronic back pain lasts more than 12 weeks. Radicular low back pain results in lower extremity pain, paresthesia, and/or weakness and is a result of nerve root impingement.

Recommendation 1:

Given that most patients with acute or subacute low back pain improve over time regardless of treatment, clinicians and patients should select nonpharmacologic treatment with superficial heat (moderate-quality evidence), massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation (low-quality evidence). If pharmacologic treatment is desired, clinicians and patients should select nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or skeletal muscle relaxants (moderate-quality evidence). (Grade: strong recommendation)

Recommendation 2:

For patients with chronic low back pain, clinicians and patients should initially select nonpharmacologic treatment with exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction (moderate-quality evidence), tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise, progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low-level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation (low-quality evidence). (Grade: strong recommendation)

Recommendation 3:

In patients with chronic low back pain who have had an inadequate response to nonpharmacologic therapy, clinicians and patients should consider pharmacologic treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as first-line therapy, or tramadol or duloxetine as second-line therapy. Clinicians should only consider opioids as an option in patients who have failed the aforementioned treatments and only if the potential benefits outweigh the risks for individual patients and after a discussion of known risks and realistic benefits with patients. (Grade: weak recommendation, moderate-quality evidence)

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Dr. Kamal Kant Kohli

Dr. Kamal Kant Kohli

A Medical practitioner with a flair for writing medical articles, Dr Kamal Kant Kohli joined Medical Dialogues as an Editor-in-Chief for the Speciality Medical Dialogues. Before Joining Medical Dialogues, he has served as the Hony. Secretary of the Delhi Medical Association as well as the chairman of Anti-Quackery Committee in Delhi and worked with other Medical Councils of India. Email: drkohli@medicaldialogues.in. Contact no. 011-43720751
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