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2625 pages added, reviewed or updated during the last month (last updated: 15/4/2021)


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prognosis

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Majority of patients with acute low back pain have a good prognosis and recover within one month (1):

  • patients usually return to work within one month
  • further recovery may occur up to three months and pain and disability levels usually remain constant thereafter
  • patients may continue to experience low levels of pain and disability for 3 to 12 months
  • at least one recurrence is seen in most patients within a year (2)

Predictors of poor prognosis include:

  • depression
  • passive coping strategies
  • job dissatisfaction
  • somatization
  • higher disability levels (3)

Reference:

1. Davies R. Low back pain. InnovAiT 2008;1(6):440-445
2. Pengel LHM et al. Acute low back pain: systemic review of its prognosis. BMJ. 2003; 27(7410): 323
3. Elder WG et al. Managing lower back pain: you might be doing too much. J Fam Pract. 2009;58(4):180-6

Last reviewed 10/2020

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