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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE

A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
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REVIEWS  LOW BACK PAIN


Europa Medicophysica 2004 March;40(1):9-13

language: English

Epidemiology and natural history of low back pain

Dunn K. M., Croft P. R.

Primary Care Sciences Research Center Keele University, Keele, UK


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Low ­back ­pain is a com­mon prob­lem af­fect­ing ­most ­adults at ­some ­point dur­ing ­their life­time. At any one ­time, ­around 1 in 5 ­adults ­will re­port symp­toms of low ­back ­pain, ris­ing to 40% ­when ­asked if ­they ­have ex­pe­ri­enced symp­toms dur­ing the pre­vi­ous ­month. The ma­jor­ity of peo­ple who ex­pe­ri­ence an epi­sode of low ­back ­pain ­will im­prove ­over ­time. However a size­able pro­por­tion ex­pe­ri­ence re­peated epi­sodes or re­cur­rences, and ­some re­port con­tin­u­ous symp­toms for ­many ­years. A ­wide ­range of fac­tors are ­linked to ­both the on­set and per­sis­tence of low ­back ­pain. Some stud­ies ­have re­lated age and gen­der to low ­back ­pain, but the ­link over­all is equiv­ocal. Work-re­lated fac­tors ­such as ­heavy lift­ing, and so­cio-dem­o­graphic fac­tors ­such as smok­ing and obes­ity ­have ­been ­linked ­with the on­set of low ­back ­pain. High lev­els of func­tional im­pair­ment and the pres­ence of ­pain ra­di­at­ing to the leg ­have ­been ­cited as fac­tors as­so­ciated ­with a ­poor prog­no­sis ­among pri­mary ­care con­sul­ters ­with low ­back ­pain. Other char­ac­ter­is­tics as­so­ciated ­with ­both the de­vel­op­ment and the per­sis­tence of low ­back ­pain in­clude psy­cho­log­i­cal fac­tors ­such as de­pres­sion and anx­iety and work­place fac­tors ­such as job sat­is­fac­tion. Low ­back ­pain ­places ­large de­mands on ­health, so­cial and wel­fare ­systems. Further re­search is ­needed to iden­tify prac­ti­cal inter­ven­tions to re­duce ­this bur­den ­from low ­back ­pain.

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