New back pain therapy guidelines issued

May 18, 2009 at 4:13 PM

PORTLAND, Ore., May 18 (UPI) -- The American Pain Society has issued new clinical guidelines for low-back pain, emphasizing the use of non-invasive therapy versus interventional procedures.

The new guidelines that also call for shared decision-making between provider and patient are based on an extensive review of existing research. The society said the guidelines provide clinicians with eight recommendations to help determine the best way to treat patients with low-back pain, expanding current and previously published guidelines for initial evaluation and management of the chronic condition.

"These recommendations are based on an even more complete body of evidence than was available just a few years ago," said Dr. Roger Chou, lead author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at the Oregon Health & Science University. "Consequently, we believe these recommendations will give physicians more confidence when treating patients with persistent back pain. Unfortunately, randomized trials for a number of commonly used interventional procedures are still too limited to generate evidence-based recommendations, and our review also highlights the need for more research."

The guidelines appear in the journal Spine.

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