Diagnosis and Management of Low Back Pain

요통의 진단과 치료

  • Jang, Jae Hong (Department of Neurology, Korea University College of Medicine) ;
  • Kim, Byung-Jo (Department of Neurology, Korea University College of Medicine)
  • 장재홍 (고려대학교 의과대학 신경과학교실) ;
  • 김병조 (고려대학교 의과대학 신경과학교실)
  • Received : 2012.05.29
  • Accepted : 2012.05.30
  • Published : 2012.06.30

Abstract

Low back pain is a common clinical condition with heterogeneous causes and challenges to manage. High prevalence and numerous assessments result in an enormous socioeconomic burden. Clinician must conduct efficient and stepwise evaluation process to rule out serious spinal pathology, neurologic involvement, and identify risk factors for chronicity. The process can be achieved through the focused history taking and physical examination. Certain factors related to serious spinal pathology include age (>50 years), trauma, unexplained fever, recent urinary or skin infection, unrelenting night or rest pain, unexplained weight loss, osteoporosis, immunosuppression, steroid use, and widespread neurological symptoms. In non-specific low back pain, diagnostic imaging and laboratory studies are often unnecessary and can disturb an appropriate management. For the management of acute low back pain, patient education and medication such as acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants are recommended. For chronic low back pain, behavior therapy, back exercise, and spinal manipulation are beneficial. The evidence based approach could improve success rate of management, result in prevention of acute low back pain from being chronic intractable pain.

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