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The back pain revolution 

The back pain revolution
The back pain revolution

Cathy Price

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date: 24 September 2021

In 1997 Gordon Waddell and colleagues published a systematic review which explicitly challenged the assumption that back pain should always be treated by rest. Until this time, the belief that back pain was a sign of injury was deeply held, and many surgeries had been performed, often with poor results. The paper, together with the subsequent book The Back Pain Revolution, led to a paradigm shift in the way that back pain was managed: bed rest was no longer actively prescribed; instead, a return to activity was encouraged. This paper is also important because it was one of the first systematic reviews related to pain. However, further systematic reviews on the subject have found only small differences in the success rates of activity-based versus traditional treatments of back pain. Thus, despite the paper being published nearly 20 years ago, there is still a call for further work in this area.

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