Show Summary Details
Page of

Back pain and regional disorders 

Back pain and regional disorders
Back pain and regional disorders

Carlo Ammendolia

, and Danielle Southerst

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 February 2021

Over 70% of people in industrialized countries suffer from low back pain at some time, and it is one of the main reasons for visits to physicians. Risk factors include heavy physical work, smoking, stress, depression, and job dissatisfaction. In more than 90% of cases the exact anatomical source of back pain cannot be determined, and the preferred diagnostic label is ‘non-specific low back pain’. Investigation should be restricted to patients with red flags and clinical suspicion of serious disease, with magnetic resonance imaging the best imaging modality for the diagnosis of lumbar disorders. In the absence of red flags, patients with acute low back pain should receive non pharmacological care as first treatment option including reassurance, advise to remain active, massage and spinal manipulation followed by non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants if necessary.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.