Low back pain is the single biggest cause of years lived with disability worldwide. It is therefore also a major challenge to international health systems. In 2018, the Lancet Low Back Pain Series Working Group identified a global problem of mismanagement of low back pain. The group documented the phenomenon of unnecessary care whereby patients receive health services which don’t follow international guidelines. There was strong evidence that this unnecessary care, including complex pain medications, spinal imaging tests, spinal injections, hospitalisation and surgical procedures, were hazardous for most patients with low back pain.
The first intervention for what we call “simple” lower back pain (no neurological signs and symptoms) should be conservative. At Restore this is osteopathic treatment, rest, anti-inflammatories if appropriate, and ergonomic and exercise advice. At Restore we have always found that conservative management, lifestyle changes, improvement in strength and osteopathic care have a significant improvement in symptoms of lower back pain, and in the majority of patients will resolve it entirely.
If neurological signs are present e.g. burning, numbness, we will always refer patients